A series of 11 workshops for teachers, each two days long, will be offered throughout the summer by the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation and partner organizations. The workshops will help teachers apply Iowa Core standards, including social studies and science in the context of agriculture.
The workshops will use agriculture to teach other core concepts and skills, such as language arts and math. They will be hands-on and interactive, with one day for site visits or tours, and another day for practical classroom application. Many STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts will be integrated throughout.
“My main goal was to get a credit. But once I got into the workshop, I realized it would exceed my expectation,” says Betsy Anderson, a workshop participant in 2018. “I knew some of the information, but it was great to have it connected to real farmers and the science behind farming in Iowa.”
The dates of the 2019 workshops in Iowa are:
- June 3-4 in Sioux Center
- June 11-12 in Calmar
- June 13-14 in Algona
- June 13-14 in Pella
- June 26-27 in Eldridge
- June 26-27 in Fort Dodge
- July 10-11 in Griswold
- July 17-18 in Council Bluffs
- July 23-24 in Ankeny
- Aug. 5-6 in Indianola
- Aug. 5-6 in Manchester
The workshops will include demonstrations, implementation of concepts, tours of farms and agribusinesses, and technical skills in agriculture. The course will allow for teacher recertification credit and graduate-level credit.
“It was simply the best professional development course I've taken,” says 2018 workshop participant Kerri Bell. “It offered so much for two solid days. I loved every minute of it. I've made so many new friends across southeast Iowa to collaborate with through this workshop and IALF. I'm excited to have more resources.”
Teachers, students benefit
“Using agriculture as the context to teach core standards, course participants will integrate agriculture into science, social studies, language arts and math to make learning real and relevant for students,” says Will Fett, executive director of IALF. “Participants will leave the workshop with instructional strategies, lessons and activities that can be immediately implemented into their classroom with little or no additional effort. Student engagement and impact will be high with hands-on learning.”
The workshops are made possible by supporters of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. Those include Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area, Bayer, REAP Conservation Education Program, and Farm Credit Services of America. Additional support is provided by the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Corteva Agriscience, Growmark and the Iowa Beef Industry Council.