Georgia Foundation for Agriculture gets grant for virtual ag game
Posted on Jul 25, 2023 at 20:00 PM
By Jennifer Whittaker, Georgia Farm Bureau
The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA) is receiving a $200,000 grant from The Partnership for Inclusive Innovation (The Partnership) over the next two years to develop an immersive game to teach students about agriculture. Using a virtual, 3D-based platform, the game is intended to ignite students' interest in farming. Students will play the game on tablets or computers.
“The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture is grateful for the support of The Partnership for Inclusive Innovation. This funding will enable us to accelerate the implementation of our game project and make a significant difference in the lives of students, educators, and the agricultural community at large,” said Lily Baucom, Georgia Foundation for Agriculture executive director. “Students are nearly three to four generations removed from the farm. The need for agricultural education that excites students and showcases the future of farming is at an all-time high.”
Through its new game, GFA aims to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual environments to enhance students' understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and AgTech developments. GFA’s game will be developed over the next two years in partnership with educational gaming company STEMuli and Georgia Farm Bureau. If you are a teacher interested in participating in the pilot program phase of the GFA’s game development, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The game will use state approved, AgTech curriculum to provide experience and observation learning opportunities. In the game’s educational metaverse, students will engage in AI-powered, game-based learning to explore agriculture careers, acquire the knowledge and skills to grow food/fiber, and develop sustainable agricultural businesses.
“We are excited to equip students with the knowledge and skills to thrive in the agricultural industry through immersive, game-based learning experiences powered by AI. This funding empowers us to contribute to shaping a vibrant and sustainable future for agriculture,” said Taylor Shead, STEMuli founder and CEO.
Based in Dallas, STEMuli is a gaming company that facilitates online and offline learning.
GFA will offer the game through its Georgia Ag Experience program, which includes a mobile classroom equipped with computer games and virtual experience stations that introduce third through fifth graders statewide to Georgia commodities such as chickens, cotton, peanuts, beef cattle, fruit and vegetables.
GFA’s game project was one of only three that The Partnership selected to receive a grant in its fifth selection process. This achievement highlights GFA's commitment to advancing inclusive entrepreneurship and driving positive change within the agricultural industry.
The Partnership’s highly competitive grant program is designed to empower innovators, entrepreneurs, non-profits and hybrid organizations with projects that generate scalable social impacts and sustainable economic opportunities. Supported projects receive comprehensive assistance, ranging from project funding and program management to marketing and promotion to foster connections with current and former project alumni. In addition to technical assistance, funded participants provide invaluable joint learning and networking opportunities.
"The Partnership for Inclusive Innovation believes that true progress is driven by collaboration and innovation. Our winning projects represent the inclusion, geographical scale, and impact that makes our public-private partnership model unique,” said The Partnership’s Economic Opportunity Manager Jamal Lewis. “Through these awarded projects, we aim to foster an environment where economic and community opportunities flourish and where the innovative spirit of our state shines brighter than ever before."
As the GFA moves forward with developing its innovative game, it remains committed to building an inclusive initiative that empowers aspiring students and teachers across diverse backgrounds, geographical locations and circumstances. Together with The Partnership and other visionary partners, GFA will continue to break barriers and foster a culture of opportunity in agriculture, enabling Georgia's farming industry to continue to thrive.
The Foundational Leadership and Entrepreneurship Experience (FLEX) and the Small Bites Adventure Club also received grants from The Partnership.
FLEX, created by the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Chamber of Commerce and the Fitzgerald-Ben Hill County Development Authority, aims to provide an inclusive platform for educating students from diverse backgrounds on the rewards, sacrifices and processes of small business ownership.
The Small Bites Adventure Club provides a digital platform to help teachers connect children with healthy food habits, life skills and academic advantages, ensuring every child in Georgia has the opportunity to experience the joys of cooking with fresh, nutritious ingredients.
For more information about the Partnership for Inclusive Innovation and its impactful programs, visit www.pingeorgia.org.