MACON, Ga. — Georgia Tech Constellations Center Fellow Yolanda Payne will lead a group of Georgia participants at the On the Farm STEM event in Nashville this August.
As a Constellations Fellow, Payne coaches teachers in low-resource schools to build effective teaching practices through classroom-based professional development.
Participants include Georgia Tech Outreach Coordinator Nykema Lindsey, Lashawne Long Myles from Atlanta Public Schools, Jefferson City Schools BioSTEM Coordinator Liz French, Georgia Tech Research Associate Darryl Adderly and Georgia Tech College of Computing Associate Dean Cedric Stallworth.
The On the Farm STEM event allows educator teams made up of classroom teachers, administrators and specialists to engage with experts (including Payne) in both science education and the scientific community to design lessons and classroom materials that use agriculture to help students understand science.
The 2021 On the Farm STEM teams include a total of 33 participants, representing 14 educational institutions across six states.
The professional development opportunity, co-created by the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture and NextGenScience with funding from the Beef Checkoff Program, was designed to bring science to life for participants with the help of American beef cattle ranchers, researchers, geneticists, nutritionists and veterinarians.
Participants will begin their study with a three-part webinar series exploring the relevancy, authenticity and scientific concepts of agriculture to better understand how to weave this context into their curriculum, and then will come together in Nashville to tour farms and ranches and investigate the science that drives beef production.
These events build on the success of national On the Farm education events facilitated by the foundation over the past five years. Visit www.onthefarmstem.com for additional information and resources.
Meanwhile, Cherokee County Farm Bureau and Georgia Farm Bureau were awarded fall grants through the AFBF White-Reinhardt Fund for Education program. These grants were awarded to communities that are creating new and exciting ways to help learners of all ages understand agriculture and the important role it plays in their lives.
Criteria for selecting winners included: the effectiveness of demonstrating a strong connection between agriculture and education, how successfully the project enhances learner engagement in today’s food, fiber and fuel systems, and the timeliness and processes for accomplishing project goals. Grants are awarded twice a year, in the spring and fall.
The grant awarded to Cherokee County Farm Bureau will be used to help Woodstock High School add a garden component to its existing nutrition and food science courses. This will provide students with a strong understanding of where food comes from and how it is produced.
The grant awarded to GFB will go toward a new hands-on activity for visits through the Georgia Ag Experience, a 36-foot mobile classroom. The Georgia Ag Experience visits elementary school students across the state to instill knowledge of agriculture and cultivate interest in farming careers.
The White-Reinhardt Fund for Education, which honors two former American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee chairwomen Berta White and Linda Reinhardt, is a project of the Foundation in cooperation with the Women’s Leadership Committee. White and Reinhardt were trailblazers in early national efforts to expand the outreach of agricultural education and improve agricultural literacy.
–Georgia Farm Bureau