Georgia elementary classes in third through fifth grades are encouraged to put their science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills to work to explore the role healthy forests play in creating healthy communities by protecting our air, soil and water resources.
Elementary teachers and their students may enter the Fall ‘21 Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities STEM Challenge by Nov. 12 for the chance to win a prize package totaling $350 for their class. The top grade-winner from the third, fourth and fifth-grade entries will win a prize package. Winners will be announced later in November.
The Georgia Association of Conservation Districts (GACD), a non-profit organization that works with the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts to promote the conservation of natural resources, is sponsoring the statewide competition, which is being coordinated by the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA).
Teachers interested in participating in the Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities STEM Challenge may visit www.gfb.ag/stemchallenge for more information and to register for the program. Once teachers register their classes, they will receive access to a digital resource toolkit that equips the students to participate in the forestry STEM challenge.
The purpose of the challenge is to encourage elementary teachers and students in grades 3-5 to explore aspects of Georgia agriculture by applying their STEM skills to solve real-world problems that farmers face in producing our food and fiber. Participating classes will be asked to use their STEM skills to answer a real-life question pertaining to forestry and create a video presentation highlighting what they learned.
The GACD is also holding its annual poster contest this fall with the theme of “Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities.” Schools that submit their STEM Challenge entries by Nov. 1 and indicate they wish to be considered for the annual GACD Poster Contest will also be considered for the prizes that contest offers.
Almost 50 classes registered for the Spring ’21 Soil Health Explorers STEM Challenge, which the GACD sponsored. Winners were announced in May. Congratulations to Roopville Elementary’s “QUEST Kids,” taught by Jennifer Carroll, for winning the third-grade prize! Trinity Christian School’s “Fourth-Grade Crusaders Team,” taught by Nona Dasher took top honors in its division. Dallas Elementary’s “Venture Soil Detectives,” taught by Stephanie Atkinson won the fifth- grade competition.
Teachers of each winning class received a $250 classroom supply grant and an educational conservation resource kit donated by GACD. Each class that participated in the spring STEM Challenge answered the question, “How can we improve soil biodiversity and overall soil health?” Visit www.gfb.ag/spring21GAESTEMwinners to see the spring awards presentation and the three winning video presentations.
The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to preparing Georgia agriculture’s next generation of leaders. The foundation offers scholarships to students pursuing agricultural careers, manages the Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom, funds leadership development programs and projects that increase students’ and the public’s understanding of agriculture. Visit www.gafoundationag.org to make a tax-deductible donation or learn more about the foundation and its programs. For more information contact Lily Baucom at email@example.com or 478.405.3461.