WORTHINGTON, Ohio – How can soybeans help Ohio teachers connect students to challenging and rewarding careers in agriculture, food science, engineering, biotechnology, chemistry and more? The answer is GrowNextGen.org. GrowNextGen offers STEM-based curriculum, interactive e-learning courses, career videos and the ability to network with other Ohio teachers.
The Ohio Soybean Council (OSC) and soybean checkoff recently launched this program and website in an effort to showcase real-world applications of math and science to soybeans and agriculture. It provides unique tools and resources for Ohio teachers, some of whom are already taking advantage of this opportunity.
“GrowNextGen.org provides lessons with real-world applications that meet standards in my curriculum,” said Jane Hunt, a teacher at Upper Arlington High School in Franklin County. “My students are more engaged when I use these resources. They see the lessons as relevant to their lives and their futures.”
When teachers visit www.grownextgen.org, they have the option of signing up to be a network member. This service is completely free and provides access to additional options, including the ability to upload original curriculum to be considered for publication on the website so others can download and utilize it.
Through the teacher network, teachers will have access to other network members, training opportunities and professional industry contacts. They will also be notified when new career videos, e-learning courses or curriculum become available.
“When I’m connected to the GrowNextGen network that means that my students are connected to some of the best resources on how to prepare them to solve the problems we are facing,” said Chuck Crawford, a teacher at Dublin Jerome High School, which serves students in Franklin and Delaware Counties.
21st Century Careers
For almost 20 years, OSC and Ohio soybean farmers have been investing in the development and distribution of curriculum and educational materials, yet the demand for students studying science-based disciplines to fill workforce demand is high. GrowNextGen shows teachers and students how soybeans and agriculture fits in the 21st century workforce.
“It’s an unfortunate truth that many Ohio students have no idea that soybeans and agriculture are a career option with many different opportunities,” said Patrick Knouff, OSC chairman and Shelby County soybean farmer. “Ohio teachers are working hard and doing their best to expose our kids to as many options as they can. This website will introduce their students to new and exciting ideas and careers they may have never considered.”
Headquartered in Worthington, the Ohio Soybean Council is governed by a volunteer farmer board, which directs the Soybean Promotion and Research Program. The program’s primary goal is to improve soybean profitability by targeting research and development projects through the investment of farmer-contributed funds (checkoff).
Ohio Soybean Council