Informing the future: High school and fourth-grade curricula
Issue: The public has general misconceptions about agriculture, climate change, and the relationship between the two.
Action taken: REACCH developed curricula aligned with both state and Common Core standards for high school and elementary classrooms. The semester-long curricula address the intersection of agriculture and climate change through interactive lessons and hands-on labs.
Results: Informative, easy-to-use, downloadable high school and fourth-grade curricula will allow teachers to integrate agricultural and climate change topics into their classrooms. A total of 76 teachers were trained to carry out agriculture and climate change lessons and laboratories with their students during summer workshops. If each teacher has a total of 25 students per year, we will reach approximately 1,900 students per year. In ID, OR, and WA, high school curriculum will be sent to 1,924 science teachers and 528 agriculture teachers. The intermediate primary curriculum will be sent to 4,328 teachers. Additionally, 16 teacher trainee departments at higher education instutions will receive the curricula.
The students and teachers also shared their thoughts on climate change utilizing the Six Americas survey. Of students completing a post-test following instruction using the REACCH curriculum in 2015, 84.5% felt that climate change was occurring, an increase of 5.2%. Of those students, 48.1% were either very or extremely sure.
Both curricula will provide teachers with accurate information regarding climate change and agriculture, and the inclusion of both science and agriculture teachers in our workshops will help spread the use of agriculture-based examples and knowledge across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.