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Science kits for STEM schools

What do you think of when you hear the term “STEM”—how about agriculture? In order to introduce this connection, GrowNextGen provided over 50 “Get to Know GrowNextGen” kits to STEM Schools as designated by the Ohio Department of Education. These kits contained information about the GNG network and agriculture-related lessons with materials for at least two classrooms.

Each Elementary school received a Meet the Bean kit, with supplies to make soy-based lip balm, soybean seed necklaces, and a fun Seed Sorting activity. Soy crayons were also included!

Each Middle school received 2 “Challenge” activities with supplies: Soybean Seed Necklace Challenge and the Soy Lip Balm Challenge along with Soy project posters.

Each High school received the Soybean Seed Necklace Challenge with supplies and 2 POWERUP Smartphone-controlled Paper Airplane Engines!

The Ohio STEM Learning Network’s website describes STEM schools in this way: “STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but it is more than an acronym. While originally designed to encourage students to pursue careers in these areas, STEM education has evolved into a unique approach to teaching and learning that fosters creativity and innovative thinking in all students.”

Agriculture connects to all parts of STEM, and the job opportunities are abundant. Over 50,000 high-skill, agriculture-related jobs are predicted to become available or be created in food, renewable natural resources and environmental industries, by 2020. These jobs will require at least a bachelor’s degree. Less than 36,000 graduates in these areas are expected to enter the workforce leaving a gap of 14,000 or 25% of those jobs open.

Thanks to Ohio Soybean Council’s support, GrowNextGen hopes to reach these schools and get students thinking about careers related to STEM!

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