Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#TeachAg Tuesday: Four Agriculture Education Rockstars and their Research

This summer, four Agriculture Education majors are going above and beyond the average Penn State student. Instead of lounging on a beach or reading relaxing book, these four ladies are pushing their education to the max! Each student has selected to conduct research this summer in and out of the country. On top of conducting the research, these ladies have received $16,500 in grants! Read their stories below!
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Sarabeth Royer
2016 Student Teach Canidate
My undergraduate research involved examining student and teacher participation in Career Development Events (CDE’s). FFA CDE’s are basically competitions where students can showcase their knowledge and skills, while also honing 21st century skills such as leadership, effective communication, and team-work. There are a plethora of CDE’s offered in Pennsylvania, from Aquatics, Livestock Judging, Public Speaking, Wildlife, Floriculture, Job Interview, and much more! My research is looking into why students decide to participate in certain CDE’s, and how participation may affect their future career goals, etc. I am also examining the historical significance of CDE participation by schools and FFA programs throughout the Commonwealth.

                                                               College of Agricultural Sciences Grant: $4,500

 
Janae Herr
2016 Student Teacher Candidate 

Research Question: Developing a comprehensive recruitment and retention plan to address needs a Pennsylvania school-based agricultural education
Objective 1: Identify perceived barriers of the agricultural education career by PA Ag Teachers

Objective 2: Identify specific strategies for effective recruitment

The National Teach Ag! Campaign as determined Pennsylvania to be a state with a shortage of agriculture teachers. Through surveys collected from both current post-secondary agriculture education students in Pennsylvania and current Pennsylvania agriculture educators data will be collected to design a recruitment and retention plan to address the shortage of school-based agriculture educators in Pennsylvania and beyond.

College of Agricultural Sciences Grant: $3,000

 
                                                                                                         Kayla Hack
                                                                                         2016 Student Teacher Candidate 

For my research I will be Identifying characteristics of effective contextually relevant Spanish language immersion experiences in Turrialba, Costa Rica.  Based in the theories of Kolb and Dewey about experiential learning and reflection, I will look at how these assist in Spanish language acquisition around the discipline of agriculture.  We know that the agriculture industry around us is changing in how we produce, process and grow food, and our labor that may not speak English as their first language is one of the changes.  According to the National FFA Organization Agricultural educators must explore new opportunities and experiences to continue to ensure agricultural students are prepared for their careers in the highly interconnected global agricultural industry, one of these changes is language, specifically Spanish.   I am hoping this research will further the global and intercultural skills needed in today’s society, especially in the area of agriculture and encourage others in the agricultural education family to provide immersion and language learning opportunities for their students, and that I will learn how I too can do that someday!

College of Agricultural Sciences Grant: $3,000
International Agriculture Minor Grant: $1,500

 
Olivia Murphy-Sweet
2016 Student Teacher Candidate
My research will be focusing on identifying the specific need and possible barriers to the development and implementations of a new agricultural youth organization to cultivate and preserve local Belizean indigenous knowledge in agriculture. There are currently fourteen 4-H programs in Belize, but none in the Cayo District in western Belize. The specific study site that I will be at is called CELA Belize in the community of San Jose Succotz. There are community leaders who are searching for an effective, sustainable way to pass on indigenous knowledge to local youth. I will be interviewing current 4-H leaders and members and Belize, participate in an observation of a 4-H club, interview community leaders, and then write about my research.

College of Agricultural Sciences Grant: $3,000

International Agriculture Minor Grant: $1,500
 
To learn more about starting on the path to having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of students across the globe by becoming an agricultural educator, please contact the agricultural teacher education program at teachag@psu.edu. Follow us on Twitter at TeachAgPSU, on Facebook, or on our blog!
 
Olivia Murphy-Sweet
2016 Student Teacher Candidate
Blog Editor
@OSweetMurph

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