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CASE Program Helps Teachers Prepare Future Ag & Science Leaders

Meeting the challenge of feeding the growing world population will require a new generation of scientists, agronomists, farmers, and leaders in food and agricultural industries. DuPont Pioneer is working with the National FFA Foundation and the National Association of Agricultural Educators to ensure that today's agricultural teachers have tools and skills to get more students excited about agriculture and careers in agriscience.

In March 2013, DuPont Pioneer announced $200,000 in grants to provide agriscience educators with training and classroom resources to implement the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) that will better prepare students for future careers in agriculture and food.

CASE is a multi-year approach to agriscience education with rigorous educator training requirements and hands-on, inquiry focused learning activities. The DuPont Pioneer grants are available to teachers who have wanted to implement the CASE curriculum, but have not been able to because of school budgets.

The DuPont Pioneer grants will be available to help with three areas teachers have identified as cost barriers to implementing the program in their schools - teacher training, equipment and materials, and end-of-course assessments.

"We're excited about the CASE program because it places proven tools in the hands of those who are strategically positioned to help end world hunger - agriculture science teachers," said Michelle Gowdy, director of community and academic relations at Pioneer. "Their important work in and out of the classroom inspires future scientists, who will discover innovative and sustainable ways to improve agricultural productivity."

Schools may apply for grants up to $5,000 for teacher certification institute registration and travel; purchase of equipment; and/or acquisition of software to implement a CASE course.  DuPont Pioneer awarded $200,000 in grants in March 2013, and is now accepting applications for $300,000 in grants to be awarded in 2014-15. The deadline for teachers to apply for the 2014-15 school year is February 15, 2014. More information is available here.

A YouTube video featuring Southeast Polk High School FFA students and instructor Matt Eddy in Pleasant Hill, Iowa, can be viewed here. Students talk about the hands-on learning projects, how the curriculum helps them excel in other subjects, and how the program is preparing them for careers in agriculture.

As highlighted in the video, CASE is much more than just curriculum. It is a system of instructional support for the classroom teacher like no other resource in agricultural education today. The CASE model provides four major areas of support to promote solid classroom instruction using rigorous and relevant lessons while enhancing student learning. The four areas of teacher support include curriculum, professional development, assessment, and certification. Each area contributes to the validity of CASE instructional materials by ensuring that teachers are properly equipped and trained and student learning is clearly accountable.

In 2009, schools began implementing CASE into their programs. In five years, 655 teachers from 32 states are using CASE.

The DuPont Pioneer Global Giving Program is intended to improve food security by advancing agriculture through science, education, innovation and to enhance the quality of life for farmers and their communities globally. Addressing the unique challenges of our local communities promotes economic growth, improved health and overall quality of life.