Physically Distant yet Socially Connected. This USDA funded project brings state-of-the-art technology to agriculture education in the Pacific Northwest.
We will provide immersive experiences for middle and high school Pacific Northwest youth and educators to explore agriculture, including virtual reality and online activities that they will help create. Experiences range from half-hour interactive agriculture activities starting now to a full-day challenge event next year.
We hope to help everyone involved in our project - educators, students, and trained volunteers - build relevant agriculture knowledge and skills through activities exploring different kinds of agricultural practices with a "farm to table" approach. We also want to equip those involved with new communication tools to promote meaningful participation and impactful learning in virtual environments and with innovative technology.
We will grow the Oregon 4-H Teens as Teachers program. In this program, high school youth develop leadership skills by creating educational materials and teaching younger students.
Virtual Interactive Labs will be used in the Virtual Agriculture Challenge event. It will use OSU's Situated Virtual Laboratory Project model, which designs virtual lab activities that build knowledge and skills through real tasks.
Materials and resources will be delivered to middle and high school teachers, other educators and volunteers at least twice a year through virtual workshops to implement project activities online.
Youth will have virtual mentorship sessions through OSU Precollege Programs' Beaver Hangouts. These sessions will include live video chats with OSU students about agricultural topics, career paths and college life.
Monthly, one-and-a-half-hour long virtual opportunities will be offered to youth to learn from and interact with agricultural STEM professionals in lively discussions and hands-on activities. High school youth will design and lead the program with the support of adult mentors.
We will develop Virtual Reality (VR) field experiences featuring farms, agriculture experiment stations and processing facilities. These experiences will be accessible on free smartphone and tablet apps, showing different types of agricultural practices from farm to table or farm to you.