Blue Valley USD 384 has received a $10,000 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. The district will purchase scientific handheld computers and sensors to transfer data collected during experiments to students’ iPads so they can evaluate the information.
With the addition of the handheld computers, Blue Valley can expand outdoor science education to include more field research. The district has used sensor technology in the classroom before, but the handheld computers will increase the ease of connectivity for students downloading sensor data to their iPads.
“Thanks to this grant, students will be able to study the aspects of responsible land management and learn about the important contributions farmers and ranchers make to maintain a balanced ecosystem,” said Ruth Hutson, the high school science teacher at Blue Valley. “Students will be able to think and act like scientists, hone their science skills and be better prepared for post-secondary science classes and future careers.”
Farmers who nominated the school district and representatives from the school and the Monsanto Fund attended a check presentation to celebrate the grant during halftime of the Blue Valley vs. Wakefield high school football game on Sept. 4.
This year the school district also received an educational starter kit from Monsanto Company to help establish a pollinator garden, which will give students first-hand knowledge of the critical role habitat plays in providing bees and butterflies with food, shelter and places to lay eggs.
Since 2011, Grow Rural Education has awarded more than $9 million to help keep rural public school districts growing. The program works with farmers to nominate public school districts to compete for math and science grants of $10,000 or $25,000. Grant applications are reviewed and finalists selected by a panel of teachers. Winning applications are chosen by an advisory council comprised of farmers from across the U.S.
Visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com to see the full list of winners for this year. A sister program, America’s Farmers Grow Communities, is currently enrolling farmers for 2016. To sign up, visit www.GrowCommunities.com before Nov. 30.
These programs are part of the America’s Farmers initiative. The America’s Farmers campaign and programs have advocated on behalf of farmers and their efforts to meet society’s needs through agriculture. Today, consumers are more interested than ever in agriculture and how food is grown. Farmers and others in the industry are joining in on the conversation to help raise awareness about agriculture and share their stories with their communities. Learn more at cfiengage.org.