My graduate research focused on integrating STEM and agricultural literacy using innovative technology to develop a two-week upper-elementary curriculum. Students focused on the driving question, "How will you help Farmer Kathy prepare for the farmers' market?" while learning about agriculture through video lessons from Kathy's farm, hands-on tasks that involved food and fiber manipulations and by-product production, and acted as farmers while applying their knowledge to authentic situations.
The ten-day curriculum, Agricultural Literacy through Innovative Technology (AgLIT), integrated STEM subjects around agriculture to provide upper-elementary students with authentic experiences involving crosscutting concepts, practices, and core ideas evident in each of the subjects. The module was aligned to Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Math Standards, National Agricultural Literacy Outcomes, and the Food and Fiber Systems Literacy Framework and included lessons designed to increase STEM and agricultural knowledge, eight project-based activities to develop 21st century skills and competencies, and information about the importance of the agricultural system to inform and alter students’ misconceptions about STEM and agriculture. Three instruments measured each of those specific elements of literacy. Students’ knowledge of STEM and agriculture was assessed with the KnowASTE assessment, their 21st century skills were evaluated with a culminating project-based performance task, and their attitudes/beliefs were measured with the ThinkASTE instrument. Click below to learn more.