Heartland Community Schools Educator Named Agriscience Teacher Ambassador
Stephanie Miller, agriscience teacher at Heartland Community Schools in Henderson, Nebraska, successfully completed the 17th annual National Agriscience Teach Ambassador Academy, joining the other 407 outstanding agriscience teachers from across the country who have earned that title.
The National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy is a professional development institute sponsored by Corteva AgriScience™ and managed by the National Association of Agricultural Educators. The process and selection to becoming an agriscience ambassador is rigorous, with a limited number of openings each year to complete the process. Those selected become ambassador candidates, who attend the academy in Tulsa to learn about inquiry-based teaching methods as well as how to draw out the science that is already present in many agriculture topics. Those who successfully complete the academy will be designated as National Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors.
The academy’s hands-on approach is designed to energize teachers and make them comfortable enriching their classes when they return home.
“We want our ambassadors to leave this experience equipped to create innovative learning experiences for their students,” said Alissa Smith, NAAE Associate Executive Director, and NATAA program coordinator. “Inquiry-based teaching methods challenge students to ask why and give them the tools to discover the answers for themselves.”
By emphasizing science, NATAA helps teachers create learning environments that prepare students for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, a field that is currently in high demand.
“Agriculture teachers are often trained to be generalists,” said Smith, “which means they may not have had as much experience in teaching rigorous science lessons. The academy and the continued training ambassadors receive helps them to get comfortable with drawing out the science that is already present in agriculture and helping students understand its real-life application.”
Since its inception in 2003, National Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors and the teachers they have trained have impacted well over a million students across the United States, from Puerto Rico to Alaska. Furthermore, Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors conduct workshops around the U.S. to share the same concepts with other science and agricultural educators. More than 3.500 educators have been trained by Agriscience Teacher Ambassadors.
The National Association of Agricultural Educators was founded as the National Vocational Agricultural Teachers’ Association in 1948. Today, the NAAE has grown to become a federation of state agricultural educator associations, providing service to more than 8,000 members nationwide in advocacy for agricultural education as well as professional development for and recruitment and retention of agricultural educators. Our mission, “Professionals providing agricultural education for the global community through visionary leadership, advocacy and service.” is echoed through the various programs and trainings offered to our members. For more information on the NAAE and agricultural education visit us a www.naae.org or check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/naaeagedu