Inspiring Future Science Leaders – CYFAR Project
Youth in both the Carolina’s face overwhelming challenges: failing schools, teacher turnover, the out-migration of young millennials from small towns and communities due to poor employment opportunities, and generational poverty. Leveraging resources and a multidisciplinary team of professionals from NC State, Clemson and NC A&T State Universities this project addresses CYFAR’s Program Emphasis USDA (REE) Goal 6: Education & Science Literacy. This project engages students, ages 5 to 12, in STEM and Science Literacy programs in classrooms and afterschool programs in Anson, Richmond, Marlboro, and Dillon Counties in NC and SC. This project works with youth, families, teachers, administrators, afterschool providers and community-based organizations to 1) increase student knowledge, skills and attitudes in STEM focusing on food, agriculture, natural resources, biological and physical science curricula while leveraging hands-on technology; 2) utilize formal and nonformal education programs, 4-H, outreach and community based initiatives that are highly relevant to agriculture science; and 3) promote family engagement and learning through nonformal program efforts and community events and expand STEM learning systems into new and existing 4-H and FCS community programs. In addition, this project will strengthen rural elementary teachers’ knowledge, skills and attitudes regarding science instruction, use of instructional resources, and technology applications that serve vulnerable families and communities. The long term goal for this project is to increase youth interest in STEM related careers so that there is a more diverse pool of youth entering into STEM-related college programs and
*This project has been made possible by a grant from NIFA.