Three Raccoon River Conference (RRC) agricultural education teachers have completed the CASE (Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education) - Natural Resources and Ecology (NRE) training institute. Stephen Cain (Winterset), McKenzie Gettler (ADM) and Jenny Lichty (Ballard) attended the eight-day training at Pontiac Township High School in Pontiac, Ill., from May 31 through June 9.

Teachers from seven states wore both teacher and student hats during the training. Teachers took notes, learned teaching techniques and explored hands-on lab activities while collaborating with agricultural educators from across the country.

“The CASE curriculum doesn’t just provide teachers with a curriculum,” said Lichty. “We actually go through the activities, projects and problems (APP) as if we were students.”

The NRE institute is a professional development specific to the NRE course that ensures teachers have the background and expertise to utilize CASE to its fullest potential. Throughout the institute, teachers walked through 140 days of curriculum while completing activities, projects and problems covering soil, water, air and other areas of natural resource areas.

“In addition to going through the APPs we were able to collaborate and discuss evaluation methods,” said Lichty. “We walk away with examples and ideas on how to implement in your own classroom.”

For these RRC teachers, this CASE Institute was funded through the 2016-2017 Scale-Up program by the Iowa Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council.