Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Wrapping up the CASE!

It's hard to imagine how quickly my first CASE institute has gone and how much can be accomplished in such a short time.  However, in Agriculture Education, anything is possible.

Working with my partner, Neil, to analyze a water sample
utilizing a Labquest and various measuring instruments
such as pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity sensors.
Looking back at the photos from each day, I can recall the collaboration, teamwork, and camaraderie that developed between 21 Agriculture Educators from 7 states and I look forward to how the CASE curriculum will transform the learning environment in my future classroom.  I watched as my colleagues and I would become students and question the "How, Why, and What" of each activity, project, and problem.  This reassured me that the students will be equally engaged and will hopefully become an active learner that develops the ability to inquire, ask questions, and solve problems.  Sounds a lot like 21st-century skills right?  As our lead teachers, Matt Eddy and Lindsay Davie, kept repeating all week, "CASE answers that."

Practicing the proper technique to measure mass on a
digital scale during the first few days of the CASE institute.
This curriculum invigorates the traditional learning environment and turns responsibility over to the students who apply Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematical (STEM) principles to current agricultural issues.  Who has an answer for world hunger?  At the conclusion of the CASE Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources course, students will have gained a foundation in knowledge and be prepared to give their solution to world hunger.  The sky's the limit after experiencing this course!

Successful completion
of "Build-a-Bloom!"
I was able to attend this CASE institute through the generosity of Impact FFA, a group that sponsored a scholarship for a female, pre-service teacher that was a member of NAAE (National Association of Agriculture Educators).  I feel humbled to have been awarded a scholarship of this magnitude so early in my teaching career and encourage this organization to continue supporting future female pre-service teachers in the future.  To learn more about the ripple-effect created by Impact FFA, please visit www.ffa.org/impactffa.  

Although my first CASE institute is in the books, I have begun to reflect on how this experience will help me rethink classroom instruction to benefit students in developing their critical-thinking skills and being prepared to tackle the most important challenges in the future.  As I've been told, everyday is a learning experience and I look forward to what is coming around the corner next!


The #PSUCASE13 crew!

 It was such a pleasure getting to know Agriculture Educators from across the country during this institute!  Whether it was enjoying a fantastic meal along the Susquehanna River or talking about their agriculture program, it was a great bunch of individuals to work with throughout the 10-day experience.

A huge "Thank You" to our lead teachers, Lindsay Davie and Matt Eddy, for sharing your experience with the CASE curriculum and giving us tricks and hints to help improve our implementation of CASE.

Finally, "Thank You" to Cumberland Valley H.S. & Penn State University for hosting this institute.  It was excellent to learn the curriculum in a school that has adopted the CASE curriculum and experience it in a 'real' learning environment. 

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