Agriculture is big business in Ohio. It is the number one industry in our state— contributing $124 billion annually to Ohio’s economy, and employing 1 in 8 Ohioans. It is important for Ohio students to understand the vast number and variety of job opportunities in the agriculture industry as they consider their future careers. Likewise, it is important for teachers to understand this too, as teachers are influential in helping students make decisions about careers.
The Ohio STEM Learning Network and Education Projects & Partnerships was recently awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to support the agriculture workforce development pipeline. Our approach to solving the agriculture workforce shortage is to help teachers connect their existing science lessons to real-world agriculture needs, so that students will begin to make connections between classroom content and future careers.
The Ohio Rural Educators Program will engage 20 middle and high school science teachers from rural schools in a year-long professional learning cohort. The program will center problem-based learning (PBL) training, providing an opportunity for teachers to experience PBL through the program while simultaneously gaining agriculture-specific content knowledge and tools to implement effective and meaningful PBL in their classrooms around real-world agriculture needs. Participating teachers will also engage with industry leaders and socialize lesson plans and classroom ideas with local industry experts. The program seeks to fully equip teachers with the training, resources, and ongoing support necessary to transition a current classroom lesson into a hands-on, problem based lesson with a focus on agriculture.
The Ohio Rural Educators Program will meet in-person and virtually throughout the 2021 – 22 school year. An overview of the anticipated program schedule is below
There are only 20 spaces available for this year’s cohort. Preference will be given to teachers from rural schools. Interested teachers must complete a short application that includes sign-off from a building administrator. The application is located here or below. For your convenience, the application contains a link to a form for your principal to complete. Please email the link to your principal—they fill out the form and it will automatically be returned to the OSLN team. Program participants should expect to participate in all the events listed below. Food and lodging will be covered for all participants.
Complete your application by August 5.
|September 8, 2021||Kickoff webinar 3:30 – 5 pm||Zoom|
|September 22, 2021||Waterman Farm Field Experience||Columbus, Ohio|
|September 23, 2021||Farm Science Review field experience||London, Ohio|
|October 19, 2021||Webinar 3:30 – 5:00 pm||Zoom|
|November 17, 2021||Webinar 3:30 – 5:00 pm||Zoom* (choose either Nov or Feb)|
|February 16, 2022||Webinar 3:30 – 5:00 pm||Zoom* (choose either Nov or Feb)|
|March/April, 2022 (Date TBD)||Full day workshop||Location TBD – will be in person|
|September 2022||Full day – presentation of learning/graduation/welcome cohort 2||Columbus, Ohio|
July 29, 2021: Post updated with final application and revised dates.