As part of its 10-year-anniversary celebration, the 2012 DuPont-sponsored National Agriscience Teacher Ambassador Academy (NATAA) doubled its annual attendance from 24 to 48 agriscience teachers. During two sessions this summer, the 2012 classes at the "Ag Academy" grew to 181 ambassadors of the nation’s finest Agriculture Science teachers, representing 49 states and Puerto Rico.
The “Ag Academy” is a professional development institute, where agriculture teachers learn new, inquiry-based teaching techniques to improve science learning. It is sponsored by DuPont as a special project of the National FFA Foundation and the National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE). The goal of NATAA is to incorporate more science into existing curriculums, make learning fun and challenging for students, and improve student performance in standardized science test scores.
“NATAA helps teachers understand critical agriculture issues facing the world today,” said Rik Miller, president, DuPont Crop Protection. “By understanding initiatives, such as feeding the world and sustainability, teachers learn how to engage their students in real 21st century issues and finding real solutions. By doubling the NATAA sessions, DuPont is demonstrating its commitment to professional development opportunities for the nation’s science teachers.”
During the weeklong session, teachers explore topics related to global trends DuPont has identified: feeding the world, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and protecting people and the environment. Teachers are immersed in hands-on activities and labs related to these global issues. The focus in 2012 is on alternative fuel sources, genetics, antibiotic resistance, photosynthesis and ecology.