Khrista Henry’s (middle adult) 2021/22 fifth-grade class, at Norris Elementary School in McDuffie County, won its grade division of the Great Georgia Pollinator Protector STEM Challenge held last spring. / Photo by Angie Roberts
Georgia elementary classes in third through fifth grades are encouraged to put their science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills to work to explore how they can improve gardening spaces while using water conservation practices.Elementary teachers and their students may enter the Fall ’22 “Be in the Know Conserve H20” STEM Challenge by Nov. 18 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 in late 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 a partner for the statewide competition, which is being coordinated by the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA).
Teachers interested in participating in the “Be in the Know, Conserve H20” 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 all the resources needed for the students to participate in discovering practices to conserve water in our gardening spaces.
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 water conservation and gardening spaces and create a video presentation highlighting what they learned.
Almost 40 classes registered for the Spring ’22 Soil Pollinator STEM Challenge, which the GACD sponsored. Winners were announced in May.
Congratulations to Greene County Primary School’s “GCPS Pollinator Protectors”, Rabun County Elementary School’s “Mrs. Dill’s Team,” and Norris Elementary Schools’ “NES QUEST Problem Solvers.” 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 water conservation in our garden spaces?” To view the video presentations of the three spring grade winners, visit: https://gfb.ag/gcpspollinatorprotectors (3rd-grade winners), https://gfb.ag/rcesmrsdillsteam (4th-grade winners); https://gfb.ag/nesquestproblemsolvers (5th- grade winners).
Virginia Fulwood is an educational programs assistant with the Georgia Foundation for Agriculture. She travels the state with the foundation’s Georgia Ag Experience mobile classroom introducing elementary students in grades 3-5 and consumers to Georgia agriculture. Those with questions about the STEM Challenge may contact Fulwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 478-258-2079.
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.