Iowa's Ag in the Classroom program was recently awarded the Seal of Approval from the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. The council is focused on increasing student interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering and math in Iowa. The task is to prepare STEM-literate students for career paths in the economically vital fields of agriculture, health, finance, information technology, advanced manufacturing and other STEM fields.
"Well-prepared students provide a competitive, economic advantage to our communities and state," says Will Fett, director of the Iowa Agriculture Literacy Foundation. "The STEM Council has created the Seal of Approval to recognize and support non-Council programs and events that help achieve STEM Council goals."
Goal is to improve student achievement and ag has a role
The Ag in the Classroom program seeks to improve student achievement by applying authentic, ag-based content as the context to teach core curriculum concepts in science, social studies, language arts and nutrition, cultivating an understanding and appreciation of the food and fiber system that we all rely on every day.
"We are very pleased to be recognized with the Seal of Approval," says Fett. "Agriculture can be the perfect vehicle to teach STEM concepts. Farmers and agribusiness use innovative science and technology to maximize production and help protect the environment."
Ag in the Classroom programs help improve ag literacy
Ag in the Classroom programs improve agricultural literacy (awareness, knowledge and appreciation) among PreK-12 teachers and their students. Ag in the Classroom help students understand and communicate the source and value of agriculture as it affects quality of life. By encouraging teachers to embed agriculture into their classroom, it cultivates an understanding and appreciation of the food and fiber system people rely on every day. Ag in the Classroom is unique within the ag education community as the lead organization to serve the full spectrum of K-12 formal education.
"The intent of the STEM Council's Seal of Approval is to recognize and support programs proven to align with our goals of inspiring and preparing Iowa youth for great careers in IT or information technology, finance, health, agriculture, manufacturing and so on," says Jeff Weld, executive director of the Governor's STEM Advisory Council. "The 'Agriculture in the Classroom' program is a great way to teach STEM concepts to Iowa's youth."
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. IALF will support existing agriculture education efforts such as FFA, 4-H and Ag in the Classroom.
IALF was created through a joint effort of agricultural stakeholders, including the Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Farm Bureau Federation, Iowa Pork Producers Association, Iowa Soybean Association, Silos and Smokestacks Foundation, DuPont Pioneer, GROWMARK, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council. For more information visit IALF online at IowaAgLiteracy.org, on Facebook, and Twitter.