FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Lily Baucom
March 1, 2021 Office: 478-405-3461
GACD sponsors Georgia Ag Experience STEM Challenge for elementary schools
Top 3 grade winners will receive $350 in prizes for exploring soil health
MACON, Ga. – Georgia elementary classes in third through fifth grades are being challenged to put their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to work to explore the real-world issue that farmers face of maintaining soil health. Elementary teachers and their students may enter the Soil Health Explorers STEM Challenge competition between March 1- May 14 for the chance to win a prize package totaling $350 for their class. The top grade winner from the third, fourth and fifth grade entries will win a prize package. The winners will be announced via a Zoom presentation on May 21.
The Georgia Association of Conservation Districts (GACD), a non-profit organization that promotes the conservation of natural resources, is sponsoring the statewide competition, which is being coordinated by the Georgia Ag Experience (GAE) and Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA).
Teachers interested in participating in the Soil Health Explorers STEM Challenge may visit www.gfb.ag/stemchallenge for more information and to register for the program. Once teachers register their class, they will receive instant access to a digital resource toolkit that equips the class for participating in the soil health stem challenge.
“The Georgia Association of Conservation Districts is excited to partner with the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture on its first statewide STEM Challenge,” said GACD Executive Director Katie Sponberger. “This challenge, which focuses on soil and water conservation, will help students understand and appreciate Georgia’s vibrant and diverse natural resources and learn how to conserve those resources for future generations.”
Each participating class is being asked to answer the question “How can we improve soil biodiversity and overall soil health?” The stem challenge asks participating classes to: 1) Develop an initial report that examines a plot of land where they will study the soil and perform a series of tests on the soil to determine the land’s current soil health status. 2) Reach out to their local Farm Bureau office, Natural Resources Conservation Service office and/or UGA Extension office for assistance or speakers to discuss soil health with their class. 3) Create a presentation on how to improve their soil and understand the real world impact for their plot of land. Class presentations must be uploaded to the challenge portal for judging before May 14.
“We developed the STEM challenge as a way to connect elementary students to Georgia agriculture. Every year students will have a new opportunity to solve a real world ag problem with a different community partner” said GFA Executive Director Lily Baucom.
The Georgia Ag Experience/Georgia Foundation for Agriculture STEM Challenge is designed to be a bi-annual competition with a spring and fall contest. The GACD is the 2021 challenge sponsor.
The purpose of the challenge is to encourage elementary teachers and students in grades 3-5 to explore aspects of Georgia agriculture by applying their STEM skills to solve real-world problems that farmers face in producing our food and fiber.
What are the experts saying about how to best grow student engagement and accelerate learning during this unprecedented time? What's their advice on how to make this happen in your district?
On March 9th, we'll bring together leaders in education from across the country who will help you rethink how to engage students in meaningful learning that creates the conditions needed to combat learning loss and build future-ready skills. They will bring their perspectives on how we can put student engagement and achievement at the center of our work with PBL.
Participate in all or part of the Summit as time permits. Can't attend on March 9th? Register and we'll email you a recording of the conference.
Our Goal is to Empower Students through a Virtual Game Design Challenge with support from Game Development ProfessionalsWith many schools adopting a virtual or hybrid plan this school year, students are missing out on the opportunity to engage in hands-on STEM experiences with their friends and classmates. To help fill this void, and encourage learning, computational thinking, and fellowship, Legends of Learning and International Game Developers Association (IGDA) are hosting a month-long Dell Technologies Advancing Sustainability Game Design Challenge. This virtual experience will enable K-12 students to learn more about game development and practice critical thinking while expanding their portfolios.
About the CompetitionWe are excited to provide all learners with an opportunity to design a game, no matter their device-access, age, or previous experience. Depending on the grade level and experience of the participating students, there will be two different tracks they can participate in:
Thanks to our amazing partners, there will be weekly presentations throughout the month of March from Game Development Professionals that correspond to the week’s lesson.
To encourage fellowship and collaboration, students can work independently or in teams of up to 5 people. In order to participate, all students must have their teacher register their team.Teachers are welcome to register multiple teams.
Any questions regarding the competition can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to your submissions!
Help Georgia K-12 students turn their dreams into reality with Intellectual Property in the Classroom
Georgia K-12 educators, do you want to learn fun and engaging ways to encourage your students to take ownership of their ideas and discover the fascinating ways their imaginations can be used to benefit themselves, their communities, and our world? This two-hour complimentary webinar, presented by the Georgia Intellectual Property Alliance, is for you!
This interactive professional development workshop will show Georgia’s K-12 educators how to help their students harness the power of Intellectual Property (IP) in turning their ideas and dreams into reality. The session will provide educators with ideas on how to seamlessly integrate IP into their lessons, helping students gain a better understanding of how IP can be used to protect their ideas as they grow into young innovators. Educators may also benefit personally from the information presented in this webinar as they learn how to protect and even monetize their own creative ideas!
Attendees who complete the full complimentary live webinar will receive two hours of CEU credit. Cannot attend the live webinar? Register anyway, and you will receive a link to a recording of the session.
Thursday, February 25, 2021
3:30 – 5:30 PM
This webinar will be held virtually via Zoom. Participants will receive instructions for accessing the session upon registering.
In additional to our virtual-live lessons, we are excited to offer another virtual resource to your educators. We have launched our pre-recorded virtual lesson videos. The videos run in length from roughly 7 to 18 minutes, depending on which one is selected.
To request a video, please contact me directly at email@example.com with the following information:
Please share with your educators and thank you for your continued partnership. As always, the lessons are free and align with the Georgia Standards of Excellence. Educators can also find additional energy efficiency resources like experiments, interactive games, word searches, and activity sheets at www.learningpower.org [learningpower.org].
STEM@GTRI is excited to announce the launch of our new Direct to Discovery series, There’s More Than You Think! These 45-minute sessions, held through the BlueJeans Events platform, will feature regional leaders in computer science, each with a diverse background and role. Through interactive Q&A and accompanying literacy-based resources, we aim to help foster a computer science identity – particularly for students who may not yet visualize themselves as belonging to the technology workforce. Guest speakers will share what their work is like, how they arrived at their current role, and advice for students. Each speaker will highlight areas of computer science and technology important for the future workforce. All K-12 classrooms are welcome to join!
Interested teachers can learn more and register for upcoming sessions at https://gtri.gatech.edu/d2d/d2d-computer-science-careers-series
Sally Creel & Tania Pachuta are members of the STEM & Innovation team in the Cobb Division of Teaching & Learning.