The June “Pests and Progress” webinar featured Maya Hayslett, extension specialist, and Lynne Campbell, education extension specialist, both from Iowa State University. They spoke about their Youth Pollinator Education and Action program, which was created to introduce K-12 youth about pollinators, from what pollination means to how they affect food production. The activities also align with Next Generation Science Standards, the learning goals that educators are required to meet at the K-12 level.
It is important to educate youth about pollinators because youth are often early adopters and can even influence behavior changes. The goal is to engage children in science and encourage them to ask questions and look for evidence. Two curriculums have been developed and used already: the “Native Bee Challenge” and “Monarchs on the Move.”
Collaboration has been an important component of this youth education effort. Hayslett and Campbell have coordinated with professionals in several states, including Nebraska, Illinois, Washington, Ohio, Michigan and Iowa. Hayslett and Campbell have also worked to establish partnerships to increase outreach opportunities with groups like USDA, county extension offices, 4-H, Girl Scouts and Reiman Gardens. As part of these collaborations, Hayslett and Campbell have also held trainings to help educators learn how to execute specific lesson plans in their classrooms.
The webinar recording is available here.