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Preparing Students for 2050
by Darrell Rubel
The year 2050 seems like a long way off. To an ag teacher or employer, it’s just around the corner. How do you best prepare students to be innovative stewards of the future?
Agriscience Education 2050: a Problem Solving Summit, hosted by the Ohio Soybean Council, brought together ag teachers, members of the ag/agribusiness industry and students to answer that question.
1. Create 20 ideas integrating agriculture and Ohio science topics
2. Identify ways to create meaningful partnerships among industry professionals, students and teachers.
Charged with excitement, folks were talking, thinking and collaborating in productive ways, using the power of “AND” to build on ideas and thinking in terms of “What if...”, "What else...”, and “What could be...”
Students were a key part of the process, sharing their needs challenges, questions, hopes, dreams for the future PLUS how industry can help. How refreshing that they were part of the conversation! The ideas generated were better because students played an active role.
- “Do I really need to know this?, and “I’ll never use this” exists. It is vital to help students “connect the dots”, think creatively and critically, and relating curriculum from other disciplines..
- Collaborative technology like Google Docs and Hangouts is incredibly important. Classrooms must have high-speed internet to stay relevant.
- Budgets are tight: Google and Skype are free. Students can better experience “real life” by using video conferencing to meeting industry leaders, solve problems working with industry mentors and go on virtual field trips.
- Get involved. Build relationships between your business/organization and a classroom. Give students the big picture of ag, not just production. What does YOUR business/organization do? What unique resources and experiences can YOU provide? Have YOU asked how you can help?
Again, kudos to the Ohio Soybean Council for sponsoring such a refreshingly innovative opportunity to collaborate!
Darrell Rubel is Ohio Farm Bureau's Director of Learning Delivery.