AMES, Iowa – “Welcome to Class” is a new serial podcast being made available by the Integrated Pest Management program at Iowa State University. The podcast is an episodic series that examines a wide array of agricultural topics, and shares tips on how best to illustrate, explain and teach these topics from a classroom perspective.
Development of “Welcome to Class” is a result of collaboration between the IPM and Iowa 4-H Youth Development programs at Iowa State University. Recognizing a need on behalf of both ag and extension educators for a singular, guiding resource, the Iowa State programs worked together to produce a podcast that aggregates resources for educators, as well as provides a community and space for educators to further collaborate and make lasting connections.
“We took the time to evaluate what ag educators had at their disposal to help them with designing their curriculum, and we found that there are so many resources available for agricultural educators to teach with, but no way for them to connect with those resources,” said Maya Hayslett, crop sciences youth program specialist with Iowa 4-H and IPM. “The podcast, while not a lesson in itself, offers ag-educators the chance to hear about new topics in agriculture, trials and lessons from seasoned educators, and presents them with new content that they might not have thought to teach otherwise.”
Season one of the “Welcome to Class” podcast is hosted and produced by Carli Erickson, crop sciences youth education specialist with IPM. Erickson was previously an AmeriCorps member with Iowa 4-H Youth Development, and has now taken on an hourly role to explore and talk with those in the Iowa agricultural landscape, in the hopes of bridging connections with agricultural professionals and educators.
Erickson sits down with many guests, including: Iowa 4-H Youth Development education specialists, plant pathologists at Iowa State and professionals in agricultural careers outside of farming, to name a few. Each podcast also includes a career spotlight to showcase career opportunities in agriculture.
“The IPM program is happy to leverage its resources to continue to diversify the audience and stakeholders we hope to help,” said Daren Mueller, director of the IPM program at Iowa State University. “The IPM program sees this as the first of many opportunities to collaborate not only to help these segments of audiences, but to further the mission of the IPM program in environmentally, healthy and economically responsible approaches to pest management.”
The “Welcome to Class” podcast will be released in seasons, and is currently available to download and stream at www.ipm.iastate.edu/podcasts/welcome-to-class, and will soon be available for subscription and downloads on major podcasting hosts.
Each podcast includes resources for educators to follow up with and to investigate more closely. Resources and podcast notes are found in the episode descriptions. To stay current with the podcast and future release dates, be sure to follow on Twitter @welcometoclass_aged, and on Instagram at welcome_ag. Information about the podcast will also be available to subscribers of the ISU IPM newsletter. Resources referenced on the podcast can also be found on the IPM Iowa State University YouTube channel.
— Maya Hayslett and Ethan Stoetzer, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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