DuPont Executive Vice President Jim Borel told science and agriculture educators and youth organization leaders that they are vital to feeding a growing population. His remarks came at the National Science Teacher Association (NSTA) Convention in Indiana, an annual event that celebrates efforts to engage and educate youth.
“Food is the great challenge of the 21st century. With a sense of urgency and passion, DuPont is working collaboratively to address the need to feed the world through science and innovation,” Jim said. “But we need educators’ help in equipping today’s students with the essential science and agricultural literacy, and other critical skill sets, so they can become the leaders of tomorrow who will improve food security for all.”
The theme of this year’s convention was Together We Can Feed the World: At the Crossroads of Science Education. The event called attention to the role science will play in ensuring that enough healthy, nutritious food is available for a rapidly growing global population that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. According to Borel, this strong global demand requires continued product and technological advancement, creating an unprecedented need for talented and highly skilled individuals with a desire to make a global impact and a respect for the important role of food.
DuPont recognized the contributions of teachers and organizations that embody the training required and the enthusiasm necessary to help students flourish in science-related fields.
George Washington Carver AgriSCIENCE Teacher’s Award: Michael Clark, agriscience teacher in the Greenwood school district, Millerstown, Pa., received the George Washington Carver AgriSCIENCE Teacher’s Award in recognition of his teaching excellence. The Carver Award recognizes the member of the DuPont National AgriScience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) who demonstrates and advocates inquiry-based science teaching and inspires students to pursue science excellence. There are currently 181 ambassadors from 49 states and Puerto Rico. The award also honors George Washington Carver (1864 -1943), agricultural scientist, researcher, inventor and teacher.
DuPont Collaboratory Award: The National FFA Organization (Future Farmers of America) and the National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE) received the 2012 DuPont Collaboratory Award. The award is presented annually to organizations and individuals working with DuPont to create a sustainable agriculture to feed the world.
The NAAE, which is a federation of state agricultural educators associations with more than 7,650 members, advocates for agricultural education and professional development for educators. The National FFA Organization, with more than 523,000 members, offers students opportunities for premier leadership, personal growth and career success in the food, fiber and natural resources industry.
Knowing science needs to be informed by local understanding, DuPont has committed to supporting training and education opportunities for at least 2 million young people around the world by 2020. Collaboration with organizations such as NSTA, FFA, NAAE and 4-H Youth Development Organization and others are critical to meeting this goal. During the evening’s events, Jim announced that DuPont will donate $5,000 on behalf of the attendees to the FFA Feeding the World — Starting at Home initiative. This educational effort is designed to help teachers and students understand the root causes of hunger and actively support the human right to safe, affordable and nutritious food starting with a focus on the U.S.
“We must continue to support our teachers, youth organizations and their daily efforts to give today’s students the necessary scientific and technical knowledge,” Jim said. “We need teachers who are grounded in the best methods to prepare the next generation who will help solve the challenges of our changing world.”