Science Literacy in PK-12 Education

Goal

Students are prepared for successful careers and a lifetime of informed decisions through the development of food, fuel, water, and landscape systems as models for formal and informal science education.

Objectives

  1. Partner with educational entities to map food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people programming with PK-12 next generation science standards.
  2. Offer professional development opportunities for educators (formal and informal) and volunteers focused on adoption of food, fuel, water, and landscapes systems as models for PK-12 science instruction.
  3. Increase the number of educators participating in campus-based research related to food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people (focus on science process, content, and systems-thinking).
  4. Increase online educational opportunities for PK-12 educators (e.g., Science for Educators specialization).
  5. Develop and deliver undergraduate/graduate courses for pre- and in-service teachers focused on food, fuel, water, people, and landscapes systems as educational models for the classroom.
  6. Provide science-based experiential learning opportunities and curriculum for youth organizations (FFA, 4-H, after school programs, etc.)
  7. Partner with Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education to integrated food, fuel, water, people, and landscape systems into science pedagogy courses. Also pursue partnership opportunities with other teacher education institutions.
  8. Seek opportunities to provide content related to food, fuel, water, landscapes, people, and the integrated stewardship of agriculture and natural resources for the development of educational resources to outside organizations (e.g., Kahn Academy, textbook companies, and other youth serving organizations).
  9. Develop and market additional concurrent credit opportunities for secondary, home-schooled, and gifted students.
  10. Capitalize on existing programs/infrastructures to engage new audiences in Science Literacy experiences (Raising Nebraska, Eastern Nebraska Research & Extension Center, etc.).

Outcomes

  1. Increased numbers of students participate in concurrent credit opportunities related to food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people.
  2. Teachers participating in professional development opportunities will show increased understanding of food systems (production, consumption, sustainability and nutrition) and strategies for classroom implementation.
  3. Increase the number of educators enrolled in IANR online degree programs (e.g., Science for Educators specialization).
  4. Half of the Educational Service Units will provide professional development educational programming on food, fuel, water, landscapes and people as models for PK-12 instruction.
  5. Increase the number of K-12 students that know where their food comes from.
  6. LPS K-2 classrooms will use soybean as the model plant system for addressing science standards on life cycles. Completed
  7. Increased numbers of students are enrolled in academic degree programs in food, fuel, water, landscapes and people.

Strategies

  1. Greater collaboration among PK-12 formal science educators, Educational Service Units, Nebraska Science, Center for Science, Math and Computer Education, Nebraska Department of Education, Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education, and other UNL departments to adopt food, fuel, water and landscape systems as models for science education.
  2. Greater collaboration with external partners to expand the use of agricultural and natural resources systems for PK-12 instructions.
  3. Development and delivery of a 4-H School Enrichment program on food systems (production, consumption, sustainability and nutrition) for K-5.
  4. Integrate food, water, fuel, landscapes, and people curricula with existing programs (4-H, FFA).
  5. Creation of Mobile Science Labs that will that will provide PK-12 students throughout Nebraska with hands-on, exploratory science experiences focused on food, fuel, water, landscapes, and people.
  6. Discipline-based education research that furthers our understanding of how PK-12 students learn within the context of food, energy, water, landscapes and people issues.