Andrea Fristoe

A Summer Well Spent with CASE

Blog Post created by Andrea Fristoe on Jul 17, 2018

This is a feature from the July 2018 edition of NAAE’s News & Views Newsletter. To read News & Views in its entirety, please visit this link.


We’re at the half-way mark of July, which means Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) Institutes are well underway. Over 500 current and future agriculture teachers are spending their summer enhancing the science in their agricultural curriculum. For some this is a brand new professional development experience, while others who are more experienced with CASE are taking advantage of the new fast-track institutes. We would like to take a few moments to highlight some great teachers who are preparing to upgrade their curriculum with CASE!


Tara Leytham, agriculture teacher at BCLUW High School in Conrad, Iowa, is taking CASE to a whole new level. After attending three institutes this summer, she will be CASE certified in Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources, Principles of Agricultural Science - Animal, Principles of Agricultural Science - Plant, Natural Resources and Ecology, and Food Science and Safety.


“CASE always amazes me with how they are able to incorporate the STEM factor in their curriculum,” said Leytham. “Students are able to gain critical 21st-century skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in an engaging manner. They are able to apply higher-order methodology to real-life scenarios and become better problem-solvers.”


Leytham has completed two of the three institutes she has planned on her CASE journey this summer. She is looking forward to her time in Alaska for the Natural Resources and Ecology institute, where she will be able to gain the tools her students need to expand their knowledge beyond hunting and fishing.


Another teacher who decided to take the plunge for the first time with CASE this summer is Greg Schneider, agriculture teacher at Greensburg Community Schools in Greensburg, Indiana. Schneider attended the Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources institute at the University of Kentucky. From his experiences, he was able to gain an in-depth understanding of the pedagogy behind inquiry-based learning and instruction, while stepping in to the role of his students.


“As an educator, regular professional development is paramount in keeping your enthusiasm and skill sets at a productive and relevant level,” said Schneider. “A willingness to always re-invent your teaching and curriculum is the main difference between a career spent teaching 20 years and a career spent teaching one year, 20 times.”

Schneider is looking forward to learning alongside his students this upcoming school year and plans to attend additional institutes in the future.


“Animal science and agricultural power and technology are two very popular courses in the Greensburg agriculture program, so I definitely see those institutes as having an immediate impact,” added Schneider. “I personally like natural resource management, so the NRE institute is also on my radar.”


Whether you have already attended an institute this summer, or are gearing up to go, we hope you are able to develop the knowledge and skills you need to take your students’ learning to a whole level with inquiry-based instruction.


Interested in learning more about CASE? Follow this link for information on curriculum, course pathways, scholarships, and more!