DuPont invited 49 of the nation’s finest agricultural science teachers to participate in the 2014 National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy this summer at DuPont’s Chesapeake Farms in Chestertown, Md. The academy helps teachers learn new techniques to heighten their students’ understanding of agriscience and its real-world applications.
“By understanding global initiatives such as feeding the world and sustainability, teachers learn how to engage their students in real 21st century issues and finding real solutions,” said Rik L. Miller, President, DuPont Crop Protection. “The Ag Academy takes a significant step toward meeting that challenge as it embodies the professional development component and boosts the enthusiasm necessary to help students flourish in agriscience-related fields.”
Agriscience teachers who were accepted into the highly competitive program participated in one of two week-long sessions (June 15-20 or July 13-18), where they were immersed in hands-on activities both in the classroom and on the DuPont Chesapeake Farms’ 3,300-acre working farm. The dual farm and classroom approach is designed to invigorate teachers and to help them carry enthusiasm for agriscience and inquiry-based learning back to their own classrooms. This in turn will encourage their students to learn more about agriscience and its vital role in helping create a healthier, more sustainable future.
“The Academy’s program prepares agriscience teachers to amplify the science that is already present in agriculture and develop students as problem solvers and thinkers,” said Jay Jackman, Executive Director of NAAE. “Teachers then bring these practices back to their home states and teach students to explore the many dimensions of agriscience from agribusiness to science and math. The overall result is that it elevates student achievement as measured by standardized tests.”
Once agriscience teachers complete the academy, they become agriscience teacher ambassadors, whose mission is to reach out to other agriscience educators with the techniques they learned during the academy. Over the past 11 years, the academy has prepared 229 agriscience teacher ambassadors who have presented workshops to more than 12,000 teachers across the United States, including Puerto Rico and Alaska. The result is that participants in this program have had an impact on over one million students.
The two academy sessions this summer were facilitated by agriscience teacher ambassadors who previously completed an academy and workshop leaders, having over 100 years of combined teaching experience. LAB-AIDS of Ronkonkoma, N.Y., assisted with curriculum development, which focuses on agricultural science, sustainability, natural resources, horticulture, and veterinary science. This year, food safety and food security were an important emphasis.
Selected ambassadors from this year’s class will lead seminars and workshops at the Agriscience Institute during the 2014 annual National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., and the 2014 National Association of Agricultural Educators convention in Nashville, Tenn.
The National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy is sponsored by DuPont and led by the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
June 15-20 or July 13-18, 2014
The National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) has over 10 years of successfully cultivating agriscience and inquiry-based learning in agricultural education. The Academy serves to train agriculture teachers on how to enhance the science that is already present in agriculture, as well as develop students as problems solvers and thinkers through the inquiry-based teaching method.
Each year, DuPont sponsors two National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academies, inviting 50 specially selected teachers from across the country to attend a week-long training at the DuPont Chesapeake Farms in Chestertown, Maryland. This professional development is a true merger of education, science, teachers, students, and agriculture. Teachers leave with new insights and a sharper focus on student success.
Goals for the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy include:
Following their training, the Academy's participants, National Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors, facilitate workshops at the DuPont Agriscience Institute at the National FFA Convention and NAAE Convention, helping other agriscience teachers learn how to teach more effectively. Ambassadors also conduct workshops at their local, state, and regional conferences.
Over 200 teachers from 49 states have been a part of the Academy since its inception in 2003. Click on your state to find ambassadors.
Application submissions for the 2014 National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy are CLOSED. If you have questions about NATAA, contact Alissa Smith at 1-800-509-0204 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a preservice teacher in an undergraduate agricultural education program and would like to be a part of the National Agriscience Preservice Teacher Program, click here for details.
DuPont, a 210-year-old science company, puts science to work as a proud sponsor of the National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA), a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
DuPont partners with LAB-AIDS Inc. for curriculum, materials and training support.
Are you a National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador? Check out opportunities just for you!
Would you like to provide inquiry-based workshops at your next state or regional conference? Contact Alissa Smith email@example.com or (800) 509-0204.