LINCOLN — The Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) program is offering virtual at-home learning resources for teachers, students, and parents during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We know this is a difficult time for educators and families in Nebraska. In continuing with our mission, we are happy to provide AITC materials in a convenient and helpful way for teachers and families now completing educational activities virtually and at home,” said Courtney Schaardt, director of outreach education.
The new virtual and at-home learning resources include live experiences, self-guided opportunities for students, and activity guides to aid parents and teachers.
The live experiences include a reading of the book Right This Very Minute. This beautifully illustrated book celebrates food and farming and inspires readers of all ages to learn more about where their food comes from – right this very minute. The video of the book read by Dawn Kucera, a farmer from Madison County, can be found on the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation Facebook page.
There will also be two virtual field trips to a Nebraska pig farm. These field trips will be live on the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation’s Facebook page. The first field trip is scheduled for April 14 at 1:00 p.m. (CT) with the subject of pig habitats, and the second field trip will be May 5 at 1:00 p.m. (CT) and will focus on the variation of pig traits.
“Facebook LIVE gives us an opportunity to allow pig farmers to open their barn doors to show what happens on their farm,” said Schaardt. “We’ve done virtual field trips for students in the classroom. Facebook gives us the opportunity to get into the homes of these students to continue their learning.”
The self-guided opportunities include many Agriculture in the Classroom resources, including all six editions of AgMag which highlight agriculture and the ways that we are connected to Nebraska agriculture. There are also a variety of websites available that are fun and interactive that highlight agriculture.
Virtual classroom visits will be an entertaining and unique way for students to get up close with learning about food, the environment, nutrition, and business. Each lesson is aligned to Nebraska State Standards for science, social studies, math, or language arts. The videos include a teacher teaching the lesson along with supplemental materials to coincide with the lessons. Visits will be available on the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation Facebook page starting April 15, with a new one being posted each week for at least six weeks. Virtual classroom visits will also be available on the Foundation’s YouTube channel.
“Virtual classroom visits will allow students to participate at their own pace,” said Schaardt. “Topics include pollination, water and soil, plant parts, future’s markets, pig habitats, and corn plastic.”
The Foundation revamped its resources to make the transition from in-person classroom learning to virtual learning and the plan is to add resources and learning opportunities as this challenging situation continues. Access all of the materials at www.nefbfoundation.org/virtual-learning.
Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC) is a statewide program that helps K-12 students and teachers develop an awareness and understanding that agriculture is their source of life’s necessities. AITC has a long history of creating resources tied to state education standards to assist teachers in connecting their students to their source of food, fiber, and fuel – agriculture!
Agriculture in the Classroom ® is a program coordinated by the National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization and supported by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In Nebraska, the Agriculture in the Classroom program is managed by the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, whose mission is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit www.nefbfoundation.org.
— Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation
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