National STEM Day 2020 is Nov. 8, and it’s a holiday National Corn Growers Association celebrates every day. That’s because the intent is to recognize the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in our schools and to the future of agriculture.
NCGA believes agriculture is a vital partner in engaging students in STEM concepts in ways that directly and indirectly impact their lives and the lives of farmers. Not only does teaching an ag-based curriculum in the science classroom inspire students to solve real-world science issues, reaching students is critical to address the job gap in agriculture-related careers, many of which go unfilled.
NCGA and its state corn checkoff programs began investing in making the latest teaching materials and teacher training available nationwide before COVID but quickly shifted gears to more virtual tools with the emergence of the pandemic. If you want to see how your checkoff support is helping teachers go to www.nourishthefuture.org.
NCGA is in the second year of investing state corn checkoff dollars in the STEM-oriented initiative called Nourish the Future and is recruiting teachers to participate in the 2021 program. If you are interested, you can apply now at www.nourishthefuture.org/tlc-2021
The Nourish the Future national leadership experience is a year-long cohort program designed for middle and high school science teachers who want to:
- Enhance your professional development capacities to fit diverse audiences and venues
- Become skilled in inquiry-based lesson design
- Become a leader in exploring solutions with your students on issues affecting sustainability, climate, environment, food production
- Become a career coach for your students
- Expand your professional network to include teachers and industry experts from different states
Providing high-quality Stem-based teaching resources is another key part of Nourish the Future. Teachers and parents can find a trove of traditional and virtual teaching resources and activities that can be useful during COVID-19.
The Nourish the Future team has designed virtual resources that can be found at nourishthefuture.org/virtual.
NCGA is taking a series of actions to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and the economic fallout it is creating for corn farmers and our customers. Short term, this means instituting policies to protect the health and safety of our stakeholders and the broader communities we serve. Long term, we’re focused on creating solutions to help corn farmers and our customers recover from the financial impacts of this crisis.
CommonGround is a group of farmers connecting with consumers through conversations about science and research and personal stories about food and misinformation surrounding farming. Supported by the NCGA and state corn organizations.
The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) is a farmer-led initiative that fosters transformation in agriculture through improved soil health. Administered by NCGA the partnership has more than 220 working farms enrolled in 16 states. SHP’s mission is to utilize science and data to partner with farmers who are adopting conservation agricultural practices that improve the economic and environmental sustainability of the farm.