The Kansas Corn Commission (KCC) works with the Kansas Soybean Commission to provide inquiry-based training opportunities for teachers to incorporate “systems thinking” methods using corn and soybeans as focus points. Those chosen for the workshops receive stipends, classroom supplies and continuing education credits.
“Plant a Seed” with Inquiry
What is inquiry and what does it look like? How can you use it to motivate learning? What does it have to do with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)?
At no cost to districts or schools, Teachers Supporting Inquiry (TSI) Ambassadors are offering an “Explore-shop” to actively walk teachers through an inquiry-based lesson incorporating the NGSS. In the “Explore-shop,” teachers engage in focused inquiry and fun learning activities using corn and soybean seeds. Each teacher will walk away with supplies to get their students engaged tomorrow! In addition, teachers will learn about future opportunities and resources to continue cultivating their inquiry skills – many are free or come with a stipend!
The TSI Ambassadors are current elementary teachers who use inquiry-based learning in their classrooms and are experienced mentors:
Raquel Anderson, Second Grade Teacher, Silver Lake Elementary
Dennis Eickoff, Six Grade Teacher, Bergman Elementary
Kimbre Haflich, Fourth Grade Teacher, West Indianola Elementary
Cindy Norris, Six Grade Teacher, Lee Elementary
Supported by the Kansas Corn Commission, the TSI Ambassadors offerings are free and consist of one- or two-hour trainings to groups of teachers (ideal for professional development days) or free one-on-one mentoring to interested teachers.
To schedule the TSI Ambassadors at your district or school, contact Sharon Thielen, Educational Curriculum Manager, via email or phone at 785-324-1694.
Scheduling for these free offerings is limited each year. Requests must be made at least three weeks in advance and is available to only Kansas schools.
Teachers selected to participate in the program participate in a three-week Summer Soybean Science Institute. The teachers work with peers to develop a science unit around soybeans that addresses Next Generation Science Standards. More importantly, teachers will learn how to teach “systems thinking” using a soybean seed. For more information visit mysoybean.org.
The Summer Soybean Science Institute is funded and provided by the Kansas Soybean Commission.
Graduates of the Soybean Science Institute can apply for the Ear to Ear Mentors program, a one-week summer course where selected teachers receive advanced training to bring inquiry-based learning to their schools, beyond their own classrooms. Teachers gain knowledge about corn and how they can use the crop as a model for teaching science. They also will learn how to train peer teachers on inquiry instructional methods using corn.
Teachers Supporting Inquiry (TSI) Ambassadors are selected from graduates of the Ear to Ear Mentors program. In a one-week summer workshop, these teachers are trained to deliver professional development and mentorship for teachers in other schools to use soy and corn in their inquiry-based science instruction.
For more information about the above workshops, please contact us.Contact Us