Each year Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) provides rigorous professional development opportunities to agriculture teachers across the nation. As CASE continues to grow and more agriculture teachers become interested and involved in the training, more opportunities for funding support are coming available to help supplement the cost of attending the institutes. At the national level, scholarships and grants are offered by numerous sponsors. In total, 122 teachers were able to attend at least one CASE Institute this summer thanks to the generous support of these national scholarship sponsors.
However, CASE can be costly to implement for teachers once they return to their classrooms. Thankfully, agriculture industry partners are beginning to recognize a need for funding the equipment and supplies necessary to fully implement CASE in the classroom. In Kansas, CASE has taken on a whole new meaning for agricultural education. As one of the nation’s largest corn producers, Kansas is at the forefront of advanced technologies and science in agriculture. CASE became a focus of the Kansas Corn Commission in the fall of 2016, as means of preparing students to enter the agriculture industry with the knowledge and skills needed to be successful contributors to the current advancements in agriculture.
“Teachers who receive CASE training learn and practice curriculum that will help engage their students with hands-on learning, activities and labs,” said Kansas Corn’s Director of Education, Sharon Thielen, PhD. “We understand that lab equipment can be expensive to teach some of the labs, so we want to offer some financial support for our agriculture teachers and students.”
Along with Renew Kansas, the state’s ethanol association, they fund equipment for Kansas CASE Certified Teachers to implement the following CASE labs:
- Introduction to Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources (AFNR) Activity 6.1.5 Clean Smoke
- Principles of Agricultural Science – Animal (ASA) Activity 5.3.1 Energy in Feed
- Agricultural Power and Technology (APT) Activity 5.1.4 Renewable Fuel
- Agricultural Power and Technology (APT) Activity 5.1.6 Energy Output
Since 2017, Kansas Corn and Renew Kansas have provided CASE supplies to 82 agriculture teachers in Kansas, averaging $1,600 in financial assistance per teacher. This summer, they also offered CASE training to both CASE certified and non-CASE certified teachers for the Clean Smoke and Energy in Feed labs. Thirty-two teachers participated in the training, 15 of whom had no previous CASE training.
“The support the Kansas Corn and Renew Kansas has given to agricultural education across Kansas has changed the rigor of instruction for high school students,” said Dr. Jonathan Ulmer, Associate Professor of Agricultural Education at Kansas State University. “We could not have impacted agricultural education at this level without them.”
Kansas Corn and Renew Kansas are also supporting workshops at the Kansas Association of Agricultural Educators (KAAE) state conference. CASE training for Clean Smoke and Energy and Feed labs will be available to all agriculture teachers at KAAE Summer Conference each year.
“It is important that educators know how to link the lab activities and results to the benefits of the ethanol industry,” added Thielen. “We have provided training videos that will assist with teaching the labs as well as resources to give background information about our industry.”
So far, Kansas Corn and Renew Kansas have invested $87,400 in their state’s agriculture teachers, and they plan to continue their support for many years to come.
For more information about the Kansas Corn Commission and its support of CASE, follow this link.
Click here for additional information about CASE and how you can enhance the science in your agricultural curriculum.