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Murray school ag instructor receives national certification

Murray Community School Agriculture Program has received a national certification from the CASE (Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education) Institute.

Susannah Miller, agriculture education instructor at Murray Community Schools, attended training for the Introduction to Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Institute held June 10 to 21 in Ankeny.

The CASE Institute provided the foundational component of teacher preparation necessary to ensure an instructors readiness to deliver CASE curricula to students.

The CASE Institute also provides a collaborative setting where teachers are immersed in content specific, project-based instruction.

The major purpose of the Introduction to Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources is to introduce students to the world of agriculture around them, the career pathways they may pursue and the science, math, reading and writing concepts they will encounter in additional CASE courses.

Murray will use this curriculum for the first year agriculture students. This course leads directly into the second year agriculture course work, which is CASE-Plant. Miller received the CASE-Plant certification last summer.

The CASE Institute for many Iowa agriculture instructors was funded through the Governor’s STEM initiative. Grant money covered the cost of the institute and purchased a lot of equipment needed to implement the curriculum with students.

Miller was in training for eight hours each day with additional evening homework assignments.

“Going through the curriculum at the institute provides an opportunity to explore as a student as well as discuss challenges that may occur during the learning process with other teachers,” said Miller.

The DMACC Ankeny Campus, Iowa FFA Enrichment Center and Iowa FFA Foundation were the host of the AFNR institute. They were also host to the CASE- Plant institute during the same weeks and June.

In July, they will host the CASE-Animal Institute, as well as a CASE-AFNR all because of a large number of Iowa agriculture educators who received STEM funding.

Miller has also received notice of a STEM award to obtain more CASE curriculum during the summer of 2014.

“I am eager to implement this curriculum in the fall replacing the current curriculum with this highly science, project, problem and activity-oriented curriculum,” Miller said. “This CASE curriculum is current for agriculture and is cross-walked with all National science, math, and English standards. It is going to be great to prepare Murray students to be 21st century learners with this student centered curriculum.”

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