Wednesday, May 14, 2014

2nd Annual Domestic Study Away! #TeachAgDSA14 - Day 1 - Small School Success & Big Picture Vision

Editor's Note: During our 8 day adventure with 14 teacher candidates and 2 chaperones, we will have two guest bloggers share their observations every day!

Sunny and 75 degrees to snowy and 35 degrees has been a blast of fresh air for Teach Ag! Society's Domestic Study Away! This week, thanks to help from the CHS foundation and the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences,  14 Penn Stater's headed out west to Colorado to tour it's awesome schools, beautiful sites, agribusiness's and so much more to learn about how much of a need we have for agriculture educators and what different states can offer!

PSU Major Selfie #TeachAgDSA14
The adventure started with an early morning, leaving from Pittsburg International Airport and then landing in Denver, Colorado. As we drove through Colorado, we traveled to Prairie High School in New Raymer, to learn about their new state of the art school as well as their awesome agriculture education program! This school had geothermal heating, a new agriculture mechanics laboratory, natural lighting in all rooms with the regular lights, brand new touch screen computers, a room where students can take college classes through a camera with an professor on TV monitors, and plenty more awesome gadgets that made this school a gem in this Colorado area.
PSU AEE Major Janae Herr
jumping in to participate

As we toured the agriculture shop, we were able to see a class that is not typically in most schools. Mrs. Lure, the agriscience teacher at the school taught a class where students can sign up to learn how to artificially inseminate cows. With a class of 7, 6 being freshman and 1 sophomore, these students were in the cattle chute actually getting their hands dirty! Ms. Lure even has the class final to be able to properly demonstrate an AI procedure on 2 cows and if you wanted extra credit you could do up to 3 more! These students were able to get-hands on learning that will help them with their futures in a heartbeat. As we kept going through the school, the superintendent gave us awesome pointers about what he looks for in future teacher candidates as well as what we can do to be successful.
Prairie Superintendent (and former Ag Teacher) Joe Kimmel sharing wisdom

After we said our goodbyes, we departed to Colorado State University where we dined at their annual ATA banquet. They were very welcoming and had great food! After we ate, they proceeded with a presentation that literally blew all of us out of the water. The agriculture education program has designed, and will implement in December, a new building that will be a hub for agriculture educators: a Center for Agricultural Education in Colorado. See the inserted video below for a virtual tour. The building will consist of teaching rooms, a study lounge, a media commons, a work shop to learn hands on teaching strategies, and so much more all for future and current agriculture educators. As the plan is implemented, we hope to check back in to see what Colorado State has done, and potentially if we can bring that idea to Penn State!

This week is going to be a blast! Check back in everyday to see what Teach Ag! Society is up to!
The Teach Ag! Society Crew would also like to send a shout out to CHS and the College of Agriculture Sciences for helping us get to Colorado for our Domestic Study Away!

Written by:
Olivia Murphy-Sweet
2016 Student Teacher

Jeanne Case
2014 PSU Graduate

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