Penn State, CBF partner to provide workshops for agriculture teachers

March 02, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Furthering agriculture teachers' knowledge about the value of hands-on watershed education was the focus of recent workshops hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in partnership with Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences' Center for Professional Development, a program housed within the Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education.

Approximately 170 high school agriculture teachers from across the state attended the workshops, held the first three Saturdays in February in Harrisburg. The curriculum focused on Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences — investigative or experimental projects that educate students about the bay watershed.

Participants learned about Pennsylvania's relationship to the bay; the state's progress and challenges in reducing pollution; and how agricultural education connects to and can include environmental education with field-based learning, student action and stewardship.

Kevin Curry, assistant professor of agricultural and extension education, noted that the workshops expanded the relevancy and contextual application of agriculture curriculum with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) concepts.

"This type of teaching and learning is not new to agriculture teachers, but an intentional focus on watershed education engages future agriculturists with critical experiences to help foster positive environmental stewardship," he said.

Amy Green, director of teacher professional learning at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, said the organization was excited for the opportunity to share information and resources with the teachers, to support and enhance their approaches to teaching about sustainability and the impact of agriculture on water quality, particularly in their local communities.

"We also wanted to show them how the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experiences model — which we often refer to as the MWEE model — can help advance environmental literacy and stewardship through field-based learning, in the context of agricultural sciences," she said.

The foundation and the Center for Professional Development collaborations on the workshops will have long-term benefits to both organizations and for the teachers attending, said John Ewing, associate professor of agricultural and extension education.

"The partnership enables Pennsylvania's agricultural education teachers to obtain the most current knowledge and skills related to protecting our water," he said. "We enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate, and believe the participants, and their students, will benefit from the resources shared. It's a natural partnership that's a win-win for all."

  • Workshop2

    Teachers from across Pennsylvania attended workshops hosted by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in partnership with Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences' Center for Professional Development.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated March 02, 2018