The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Support Increased Economic Opportunities and Improved Quality of Life in Rural America
Science Skills Workshop for High School Teachers

Impact Nugget
Over the past decade, an interdisciplinary science skills workshop has taught more than 600 Arizona high school teachers updated skills and classroom techniques in biotechnology, aquaculture and the general sciences, which in turn have been used to teach more than 60,000 high school students.

Technology and science knowledge is increasing exponentially, making it difficult for teachers in grades K-12 to stay current. Few opportunities exist for them to update their skills and abilities in biotechnology and general sciences.

What has been done?
The Department of Agricultural Education in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences developed an interdisciplinary science skills workshop that has reached almost 600 teachers per year over the past decade. Teachers learn hands-on technical skills in subjects such as biotechnology and aquaculture, and also the methods they can use to teach these skills in their classrooms. Sponsored by the Arizona Department of Education, this professional development project is designed to help Arizona public school teachers become more effective educators.

In addition, faculty members in the department have focused on improving instruction in the agricultural science programs by developing curricula and methodologies in the following areas: agribusiness, leadership, agricultural mechanics, companion animal care and management, equine science, American Indian agriculture, livestock production management, aquaculture and fisheries management, composting, international agricultural marketing, and livestock breeding. Most of these materials have been developed to enhance teaching in secondary schools.

The 600 teachers completing the science workshops each year teach their newfound skills to approximately 60,000 students throughout Arizona. These teachers represent 85 percent of Arizona high schools.

“I was able to walk away from the workshop with something readily adaptable to the classroom that would introduce my students to new ideas in science and technology.” -teacher, Chino Valley High School, Arizona.

Arizona Department of Education
The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Departments of Agricultural Education, Animal Sciences, Plant Sciences, Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, and the School of Natural Resources

Jack Elliot, professor and assistant dean
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Department of Agricultural Education
PO Box 210036, Forbes Room 224
The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0036
Telephone: (520) 621-7173, FAX: (520) 621-9889

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