EATON – On Thursday, Sept. 30, third-grade Ag-STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) Day gave Preble County third grade students the opportunity to learn about several agriculture-based careers available to them once they’ve graduated from high school.
Ag-STEM Day is part of the Preble County Educational Service Center’s Career Connections curriculum for students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, according to Career Connections Director Harold Niehaus.
FFA chapters from each of the five school districts in Preble County helped run the day’s activities at the Preble County Fairgrounds. Each had two stations, giving the third graders 10 opportunities to learn more.
“Student presenters presented all about agriculture,” Niehaus said. “Everything from animals and plants to engineering, and they tried to relate those back to STEM careers.
“The students were able to learn how those different skills that they may learn in class in their academics would apply to some sort of field of agriculture,” he added. “This is the first year we’ve done it through the Career Connections, some of the chapters have done this on their own, in their own programs but this is a combined effort among all five FFA chapters and the Career Connections guiding that so we could have all 460 3rd graders in the county.
‘We haven’t had many field trips because of COVID so, you know the teachers were very happy,” Niehaus said. “The students were very happy and excited to be able to get out of school, do something different. The feedback today seems to be very good. The kids were excited.
“And it’s always a great experience for our high school students to learn what it’s like to teach, because they have a greater appreciation when they go back to the classroom for what their teachers do on a daily basis,” Niehaus said of the FFA volunteers.
According to Niehaus, Ag-STEM Day was sponsored by an ARCOP grant, and the Ohio Faith Foundation. (The Agricultural and Rural Community Outreach Program (ARCOP) is a grant program available to FFA chapters to fund community development projects in the areas of educational agricultural programs, agriculture awareness and promotion and agriculture and food economic development.) Farm Bureau sponsored the students’ t-shirts, he noted.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4061 and follow on Twitter @emowenjr