Seed Your Future is launching a program to train high school science teachers nationwide about the horticulture and floriculture industries and give them resources to talk about career opportunities in the classroom.
The educator professional development program was created by a third party for the beef and dairy industry, where it has had great success. Some of the teachers who utilized the training and resources from the original program are now teaching horticulture and suggested Seed Your Future replicate the program, says Seed Your Future Board Chair Ronda Hamm, Ph.D., the global academic relations leader for Corteva Agriscience.
The program comes as Seed Your Future, which is charged with growing interest in green careers, marks its 10th anniversary. For the past decade, the organization has focused heavily on making students aware of the vast career options in the horticulture and floriculture fields. The organization in 2022 launched the national Green Career Week (happening March 4-8).
Now, Seed Your Future is building on its work to provide resources and training opportunities for high school educators.
“Inspired educators inspire students — that is what this educator training is all about,” says Hamm. “Providing educators with real world experiences that they can take back to their classes creates a new generation ready to see careers with plants as a real possibility with real options for future employment.”
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The program has two components: an all-expense paid immersive professional development experience, from which lesson plans will be developed and made available to any high school teacher.
High school science teachers are encouraged to apply by March 8 for one of 30 seats at the immersive professional development experience June 2-6 in Indianapolis. This part of the program will kick off in May with two webinars. Then, in Indianapolis, educators will visit three to four horticulture and floriculture businesses to learn what they do and the careers they offer.
“These visits will enable them to experience our industry in a way that will help them explain all of the available careers to their students in greater detail,” says Seed Your Future Executive Director Jazmin Albarran.
At the program’s conclusion, educators will create lesson plans to be featured on Seed Your Future’s website, where teachers anywhere can access them to highlight horticulture careers in their curriculum. The lessons will be aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards to ensure that every educator can incorporate it into their curriculum.
Seed Your Future is funding the program, which cost about $125,000. Albarran hopes that because it has the potential to help thousands of teachers nationwide — and in return, the horticulture and floriculture industries, the program will inspire businesses to financially support the organization. More funding, she notes, could help send even more teachers to future pieces of trainings.
“This program will have a huge impact in introducing horticulture careers in the classroom, but we can’t do it without support,” Albarran says.
Learn more about the program here.
The Society of American Florists is the association that connects and cultivates a thriving floral community through training, education, marketing resources, and advocacy. For more information, visit SAFNow.org. See all author stories here.