Wallaces Farmer

Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation program is helping school teachers prepare for the new Iowa Core Science Standards.

July 5, 2016

3 Min Read

Twenty-five teachers recently attended a two-day workshop to get a head start on implementing the new Iowa Core Science Standards. The workshop was held in Oskaloosa and Eddyville, in southeast Iowa. It included tours of agriculture sites as well as hands-on lesson demonstrations.


Teachers in attendance represented Oskaloosa Community Schools, Oskaloosa Christian School, Moravia Community School, Twin Cedars Elementary, Albia Community Schools, and Pekin Community Schools. Over the next two years, teachers will be responsible for implementing the new Iowa Core Science Standards. The new science standards are based on the nationally known Next Generation Science Standards. The goal of the workshops was to show teachers how to align to those science standards using agriculture as the context to teach.

Helping school teachers gain knowledge of agriculture

“I hope to be able to gain in my own personal knowledge of agriculture so I can then pass the information on to my students,” says Megan Vande Voort, a first grade teacher at Oskaloosa Community Schools. “They love to hear stories about my learning!”

Teachers use agriculture to apply new science standards

FARM CLASSROOM: Twenty-five teachers from local schools recently attended a two-day workshop in southeast Iowa. Purpose was to show teachers how to align the new Iowa Core Science Standards with ag-related topics.

The first day of tours included a stop the Goodman Dairy where teachers helped milk cows and helped bottle feed calves. They then visited the DeBruin farm where they learned about the beef feedlot operation and feed rations to keep the cattle healthy and growing. Additional tours included Frisian Farms looking at cheese production and Tassel Ridge Winery looking at grape cultivation.

The second day of the workshop included hands-on lesson plans that teachers could use with their students. The inquiry-based learning approach encouraged teachers to better understand biotechnology, energy and sustainable agriculture. Teachers also toured the Cargill facility at the Iowa Bioprocessing complex learning about products produced from corn and soybeans including, corn starch, corn syrup, glucosamine, vitamin E and others.

Organized by ag organizations and Iowa Ag Literacy Foundation

“I can emphasize to my students the importance of knowing where their food and so many other products come from,” says Denise Morris, a first grade teacher from Oskaloosa. “I feel this would empower them to choose food and products carefully as they mature, and to make educated choices.”

Teachers use agriculture to apply new science standards

TEACHER TRAINING: Over the next two years, teachers in Iowa schools will have to implement the new Iowa Core Science standards. Helping teachers work agriculture into the new school science lessons is a goal of teacher training workshops being held in Iowa. 

The workshop was organized through a joint effort between the Mahaska County Farm Bureau, Monroe County Farm Bureau, Keokuk County Farm Bureau, and the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. License renewal and graduate credits were available to teachers who attended the workshop. The workshop was financially supported in part by the Iowa Energy Center.

About the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation: IALF serves as a central resource for educators and volunteers who want to teach Iowa’s students about agriculture. The mission is to educate Iowans, with a focus on youth, regarding the breadth and global significance of agriculture. Iowa is a leading producer of agricultural products that are essential to feed a growing world population, estimated to reach more than 9 billion by 2050. IALF believes it is important for all Iowans to understand the essential role agriculture has in their lives. Through Ag in the Classroom efforts IALF engages with teachers and students. IALF is supported by a number of agricultural stakeholders, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, CHS Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, Farm Credit Services of America, GROWMARK, Iowa Beef Industry Council, the Iowa Energy Center, and Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area. For more information visit IALF online at IowaAgLiteracy.org, on Facebook, and Twitter.

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