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Summer ag workshops planned for Iowa teachers

Iowa teachers are invited to learn more about incorporating agriculture education into their curriculum at summer workshops offered in central and northeast Iowa.

Polk County Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom program is hosting two concurrent seminars for Iowa elementary school teachers on June 11-12.

The seminar for kindergarten through second-grade teachers, "The Growing Connection: Using Iowa Agriculture to Meet Core Standards," will focus on learning the life cycles of plants and animals, their basic needs and how plants and animals interact with each other and the environment.

The two-day workshop will offer hands-on activities and site visits, including a tour of a farm equipment dealership and the Iowa State University Swine Teaching Farm. Participants will gain an understanding of Iowa agriculture and methods for effectively incorporating it into science units.

The seminar for third- through fifth-grade teachers, "The Agri­culture/STEM Connection: In­­spire Your Students to Feed the World," will address the challenge of feeding a growing global population. Topics will include nutrition, soils and renewable energy.

Participants will also tour the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates, DuPont Pioneer and Iowa State University’s Bio-Cen­tury Research Farm to learn about possible agriculture-related STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) career paths for students.

The workshops are offered free of charge. Re-certification credit is available for $25, and EDEX graduate credit is available for $100. All transportation and meals are included.

The workshops will be held at the Polk County Farm Bureau office (300 SE Delaware, Ankeny). Space is limited. Contact Cindy Hall at chall@ifbf.org to register.

Nashua workshop

Iowa teachers will also enjoy hands-on learning at the "Getting to the Core with Agriculture Education" workshop June 17-18 at the Norman Borlaug Learning Center in Nashua.

The workshop, hosted by the Iowa Area Education Agency (AEA) with support from several county Farm Bureaus in north Iowa, will help teachers make connections among Iowa’s environment, agriculture and the Iowa Core standards.

Participants will embark on agricultural tours of the local area, operate farm machinery with the latest technology and meet ag industry professionals. The teachers will also gain an understanding of soil and its management by getting their hands dirty at the Iowa State University Conservation Station Demo.

Teachers from across the state are invited to attend. License renewal and graduate credit is available. Check with your county Farm Bureau office for possible scholarship opportunities for license renewal credit.

The registration deadline is June 3. Space is limited. To register, visit www.aea267.k12.ia.us, and register for course #4373, Summer 14 Section. If you have problems or questions with registration, please contact the AEA 267 professional learning department at 319-268-7662. A $25 materials fee is collected through AEA when registering.