Greene Co Schools’ ag program receives STEM scale-up grant

Greene County Schools and vocational agriculture Katie Akers were notified last week that Akers’ application for a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) “scale-up” program was among those selected for funding by the North Central Iowa regional STEM advisory council of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council.

The grant process was very competitive, with 94 requests in the North Central region that would have required 144 percent of the funding available, the award announcement stated.

According to Akers, “Greene County agriculture education is full of enthusiastic and very bright students.” The grant will allow her to implement a hands-on, project based curriculum through the CASE Natural Resources and Ecology course.

Akers will attend two weeks of professional development this summer at a location not yet determined. The school will receive lab quest data collectors/sensors for a variety of activities, microscopes, digital graphing computer programs and more.

The implementation of the curriculum will better prepare students for the working world as well as higher education, as it builds problem-solving skills and requires students to be self-motivated. “I expect the curriculum to be a major success and well accepted by students interested in the course material,” Akers said.

The project will allow the school to add a new course, Natural Resources and Ecology, to the course offerings.

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