Delaware School District Purchases iPads with Monsanto Fund Grant for Science Courses

Introducing iPads into Smyrna School District’s agriscience classrooms has provided new learning opportunities on a device that many students already enjoy using. The Delaware school district purchased iPads for five classrooms, thanks to a $10,000 grant from America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund.

“Having this type of interactive, engaging technology at school interests the kids because they play with iPads at home,” said Kellie Michaud, Smyrna High School agriscience teacher.

The agriscience department has already discovered numerous iPad applications that incorporate the department’s instructional goals. Some of these apps cover topics like species identification that will be incorporated in animal science, plant science and environmental science classes.

In addition to interactive apps, the iPads also offer alternative learning techniques. Students can learn using online textbooks and podcasts, which often engage them more directly than traditional print materials. Michaud has found these and the quiz apps especially helpful.

“I am teaching Advanced Placement Environmental Science, and I have found several apps to use as training tools to prepare students for the AP exam,” said Michaud.

The 2014 America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is open between now and April 6, 2014, for farmers to nominate their local public school district to compete for a grant of either $10,000 or $25,000. Administrators from nominated school districts can then submit grant applications for either amount, through April 21, 2014, to enhance their math and/or science programs.

School districts that apply for a $10,000 grant compete against other school districts in the same USDA-appointed Crop Reporting District (CRD). CRDs with five or fewer eligible school districts will compete against each other for a single $10,000 grant. School districts that apply for a $25,000 grant will compete against schools that are located in the same state or designated region. Winners will be announced in August 2014.

The America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program is part of a broad commitment by the Monsanto Fund to strengthen farming communities. America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education launched in 2012 after a successful pilot in Minnesota and Illinois. The program has since helped more than 400 school districts improve math and science education across 39 states.

In 2013, more than 73,000 farmers demonstrated their support for education by nominating 3,851 school districts, resulting in $2.3 million in grants to 181 recipients. This year, the number of eligible counties has expanded from 1,271 to 1,289.

For more information about the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program and to view the official rules, a list of eligible states, counties and CRDs, visit www.GrowRuralEducation.com.