USDA Invests in a More Diverse Agricultural Science Workforce

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced grants to increase women and minority representation in the agricultural science workforce. Funding is made through NIFA’s Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS).

“America’s human capital is our greatest resource,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “NIFA investments are helping introduce more women and minorities to the agricultural sciences so they might contribute to future agricultural science innovations.”  Continue reading

USDA Announces $2 Million in New Grants for STEM-related Teacher Professional Development

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) today announced $2 million in grants to train high-school educators to improve student outcomes in the food, agriculture, natural resources and human (FANH) sciences. These awards are made through NIFA’s Professional Development Opportunities for Secondary School Teachers (PD-STEP) program, the newest grant offering under the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Food, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Human Sciences Education and Literacy Initiative program.

“Every professional in agricultural research remembers a teacher who inspired them,” said NIFA Director Sonny Ramaswamy. “Supporting talented educators who want to enhance their students’ learning is one of best ways to ensure our scientific workforce continues to have the skills and preparation needed to meet the demands of the future.” Continue reading

Students scour lake for invasive plants

From the Salisbury Post (North Carolina)

The Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ white activity bus fit nicely into an empty parking spot at the Flat Creek boat access on the Rowan County side of the Tuckertown Reservoir. The bus seemed out of place flanked by various makes and models of pickups and empty boat trailers. On any given day, the conversations heard around this and similar boat ramps would include the words monofilament, soft body plastics, buzz bait and most likely the phrase “pack of nabs.” However, the 13 Novant Health STEM scholars from Knox Middle School that disembarked from the bus last Wednesday were chattering about macro invertebrates, water quality, biological surveys and invasive exotic aquatic plant life.

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