Twenty teachers from rural Ohio districts dug deep into agriculture-related learning recently, thanks to support from a grant from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and support from and Battelle. The cohort spent a day at the Waterman Farm Agricultural and Natural Resources Lab on the OSU campus, then experienced the annual Farm Science Review.

The group toured Waterman and learned about the research being done there. The Hula Hoop Math lesson showed them how to predict yield using soybean plants in the field.

Lab activities on soil, water, and biofuels familiarized them with classroom science connections. A career activity exposed them to the many in-demand agriculture-related careers that need a new generation of workers.

Day 2 was a trip to Farm Science Review, where participants visited various sites to learn more about what is happening in modern agriculture.

Rosemary Callahan is an environmental science and human biology instructor at Warren County Career Center. “I can use a lot of these activities with my environmental science class, especially the water and soil resources. This experience gives me a new sector of jobs to look into. This has provided us access to so many great resources; it’s helped me to learn more about careers!”

The Ohio Rural Education Program is designed to help teachers incorporate problem-based learning into their classrooms. Teachers have participated in webinars will highlight specific agricultural content that they can incorporate into current lessons, as well as information about agricultural careers related to the content. As an end product, they will develop a PBL unit related to a need in their community, using the engineering design process.