Teach Grand Challenges


Decades of research has confirmed that the quality of the classroom teacher is the single most predictive measure for student success. Teacher quality comes from two sources: subject matter expertise and pedagogical content knowledge. Four years ago, the creators of this project founded Owl Pellets: Tips for Ag Teachers to supply teachers with a social media-based professional development platform that focused on research-based pedagogy; this platform is now reaching thousands of School-based Agricultural Education (SBAE) teachers daily. Though this pedagogy focused resource has been effective, the need for agricultural subject-matter expertise of SBAE teachers has never been more important. It is very challenging for SBAE teachers to share FANH careers with students when they have very little experience in FANH settings – specifically FANH challenges in their local community. The purpose of this project is to leverage a preexisting online professional development resource and its large following of SBA educators to create a more effective model of professional development where teachers engage in immersive experiences in agriculture, capture those experiences via the formats already used by Owl Pellets, and share them with their peers to develop an ever-growing community of practice around grand agricultural challenges founds within teachers’ local communities and FANH careers. One of the primary goals of this project is to re-engage SBA educators in the challenges, technology, and work of their local agricultural community – making grand challenges local.

Grant Participating Organizations 

Dr. Brian Myers, University of Florida

Dr. Mike Retallick, Iowa State University 

Dr. Chris Estepp, University of Arkansas

Dr. Kate Shoulders

Dr. Marshall Baker

Education and Design Consultants

Lori Catlin Garcia, The Farthest Pixel, LLC

Amanda Robertson, The Farthest Pixel, LLC