Coming to Ottawa June 20-21; Wichita June 26-27

Science Teachers: Seed to STEM Workshops Are Accepting Applications

Kansas middle and high school science teachers are encouraged to apply early to participate in the popular Seed to STEM summer workshops offered by Kansas Corn. The two-day workshops will be held June 20-21 in Ottawa and June 26-27 in Wichita. The application deadline is April 24. Over the past two years, 95 science educators have completed the workshop that offers lessons and labs that meet the Next Generation Science Standards using agriculture as a focus, according to Kansas Corn Commission Educational Curriculum Manager Sharon Thielen.

In addition to lessons and lab experiments focused on biotechnology and ethanol, the workshop includes a farm and field visit, an industry dinner and a field trip to an ethanol plant. Each science teacher who participates will walk away with valuable lab materials.

“There is an incredible amount of technology and science used in agriculture and the corn industry. We want to help teachers find ways to get students excited about science using corn and agriculture as a platform,” Kansas Corn Commission CEO Greg Krissek said. “In addition to providing the Seed to STEM workshops at no cost to teachers, the Kansas Corn Commission is supporting science education in our schools by giving each Seed to STEM teacher lab materials worth $500.”

The 2018 Seed to STEM workshops will feature new and updated labs. Each teacher will practice fourteen labs or activities that they can use in the classroom to help students learn about science in agriculture. At this year’s workshops, teachers will have the option to choose between middle school and high school lab track. Labs will be focused on topics like corn exploration, corn fermentation, ethanol distillation, pipetting skills, plasmid modeling, GFP, soil, nutrient testing, DNA extraction, GMOs, DNA sentencing, weather and more. The labs will be taught by Kansas teachers who were selected from the 2017 and 2016 Seed to STEM workshops.

“We excited to share the talents of our Kansas Seed to STEM lead teachers who have been involved in the development of new curriculum for this year’s workshops,” Thielen said. “We are also bringing experts in agronomy and ethanol into our workshops to provide insights and information as the participants are learning.”

The first day of Seed to STEM begins in the classroom and labs and ends with a farm tour and dinner on the farm. The second day of the workshop completes the classroom and lab activities and wraps up with a tour of an ethanol plant.

“Science teachers are important to us because science is important to agriculture,” Thielen said. “We cover their on-site expenses, and we work to give them valuable, hands-on learning experiences in the classroom, in the labs, on the farm and at the ethanol plant.”

Due to high demand of this program, participants will be selected based on the quality of their application. Applications are due by April 24. Visit the education section of to register or visit