Each year, teachers from across the United States participate in Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education Institutes in order to further elevate the rigor and relevance of agriculture, food, and natural resources in their classrooms. CASE curriculum also provides students with opportunities to enhance their skills in science, mathematics, and English, making it a valuable asset to the current agriculture classroom.
CASE continues to grow with additional sponsorship and scholarship opportunities. Last year, 387 teachers received CASE course certification. This year, there are almost 500 teachers already registered for CASE Institutes. Of the teachers already registered this year, nearly a quarter were awarded scholarships and grants to help offset the cost of their training. One scholarship recipient was Sarah Timmons, an agriculture teacher at North Boone High School in Poplar Grove, Ill. Timmons received her scholarship from Mosaic, to attend the Principles of Agriculture Science -- Plant CASE Institute at The Pennsylvania State University.
As the daughter of a forester, Timmons' passion and appreciation for plant science was instilled at a very early age. In college, she also minored in plant and soil sciences. Her goal with attending the Principles of Agriculture Science-Plant CASE Institute is to foster the same passion she has for plants in her students.
"CASE makes students 'get it," said Timmons. "It's not the same old boring lecture and notes teachers have been using for years. It's applying higher-order thinking to real-life situations. When students see what their learning can do, they are engaged and motivated to learn and process at a higher level."
Timmons will also be attending two additional CASE Institutes this summer -- Principles of Agriculture Science-Animal at the University of Missouri, and Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources in Pontiac, Ill. Without the help of her scholarship, the opportunity to attend three CASE Institutes would not have been possible.
"Receiving this scholarship is huge!" she said. "Figuring out how to attend a CASE Institute is financially nerve-racking, so this is a major blessing. I attended the Natural Resources and Ecology Institute in Pontiac last year. I truly enjoyed the ability to network with other teachers in my state. This year, I am excited to branch out and meet teachers with the same passion all across the country."
Funding for this year's CASE Institute scholarships came through DuPont Pioneer, Mosaic and Dow AgrowSciences. DuPont Pioneer gave 60 $5,000 grants to teachers. Mosaic paid the registration for 32 teachers to attend CASE Institutes, and Dow AgrowSciences impacted 24 teachers, either through CASE Institute scholarships or $500 travel stipends. The Dow AgrowSciences and Mosaic sponsorships were made possible by a special project of the National FFA Foundation.