Ask a Regional Advocate:

Why Teach the Wyoming Stewardship Project?

Many things come across a teacher’s desk throughout the year, some of them are worthwhile, and some aren’t. I feel the Wyoming Stewardship Project is worth teaching because it is all about us, the people of Wyoming.  It teaches the standards through lessons specific to Wyoming, which makes it relevant to our Wyoming kids. Not only that, it’s completely done for teachers – everything you need is there, and it’s all Wyoming based, including pictures, videos, and articles.  You can tell teachers wrote the lessons because they knew exactly what a teacher would want in a unit of study and made sure to put it in there. And now, to make it even easier to use, there will a PowerPoint/Google slide show to go with each lesson. Continue reading “Ask a Regional Advocate:”

Spectrum donation supports the Wyoming Stewardship Project

 

Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom (WAIC) is the grateful recipient of 20 Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablets and a check for $2000 donated by Spectrum. Spectrum representatives, Wyoming State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jillian Balow, and board and staff members from WAIC gathered in Cheyenne on November 6 to celebrate the gift and partnership.

Spectrum’s gift will support WAIC’s efforts to reach Wyoming teachers and students with high-quality educational materials from the Wyoming Stewardship Project (WSP.) Educators teaching units from the WSP are encouraged to fill out a questionnaire demonstrating the lesson’s impact. After an educator submits their feedback, one of WAIC’s Regional Advocates will send them a surprise gift box for their class! Their name is also entered into the drawing for one of the Samsung tablets.

Thank you, Spectrum, for helping us reach Wyoming’s classrooms, and grow stewards for our future!

What does the Wyoming Stewardship Project cover?

At a glance, the Wyoming Stewardship Project is:

– Focused on grades 2-5
– 12 full units exploring Agriculture, Minerals & Energy, Outdoor Recreation & Tourism
– Fully aligned to Wyoming Content and Performance Standards
– Units align horizontally across grade-level content and vertically in grades 2-5
– Units can be used independently without loss of integrity
– Units provide cross-curricular lessons and hands-on activities with content unique to Wyoming
– Thoughtfully written to highlight and engage Higher Order Thinking Skills
– A FREE gift to Wyoming educators and students

What exactly does all of this mean, and what is covered in each of the units?

To answer this question, we’ve summarized the main ideas covered in each of the units. After you’ve read the summaries, click the unit name – it will take you directly to the unit page to view and download the lessons and resources!

 


2nd Grade Agriculture:

Second-grade students learn about Wyoming farms and how farmers practice stewardship in this unit of eight lessons. Lessons showcase the history of farming in our state, starting with the Homestead act, and go on to explore how farming technologies have changed over the years.  Science experiments with plant seedlings help students develop a deeper understanding of how plants grow and the challenges farmers face as they produce our food. A hands-on engineering challenge centered around plant pollination rounds out this agriculture unit.

2nd Grade Minerals & Energy:

Second Grade students discover Wyoming’s mineral and energy resources in this unit of eight lessons.  Students begin to understand the concept of renewable and nonrenewable resources and how they affect past, current, and future generations.  Stewardship practices are explored through a hands-on simulation where students try to “reclaim” a broken piñata.  Economic impact is introduced as students step into the roles of energy industry workers in a role-play scenario.  The unit’s final lesson provides the opportunity for students to showcase their knowledge with a final project and presentation.

2nd Grade Outdoor Recreation & Tourism:

Second Grade students explore Wyoming’s unique lands through the eight lessons found in this unit.  Developing an understanding of the difference between public and private resources sets the stage for an appreciation of our state’s unique spaces and opportunities.  Students get hands-on with geography as they create 3-D models of terrain types found across Wyoming.  Responsible use and stewardship come into play as students learn about careers in stewardship and discuss recreation rules in various settings.  Wyoming’s State Parks are highlighted in the final project, where students develop a brochure sharing information about one of these parks.


3rd Grade Agriculture:

Third Grade students learn about Wyoming’s livestock industry and how ranchers practice stewardship through this unit’s six lessons.  Students identify livestock species and explore how Wyoming’s climate and open rangelands are suited to livestock production.   Students get up and moving as they learn about rotational grazing, drought, predator management, and other challenges faced by ranchers.  As the unit wraps up, students get to meet a steward from the livestock industry and practice their letter writing skills when they send a thank-you note to a rancher from their community.

3rd Grade Minerals & Energy:

Third Grade students discover Wyoming’s many energy resource options in this unit of eight lessons.  Students learn to distinguish between renewable and nonrenewable energy sources as they explore Wyoming’s energy production industries.  They will learn how Wyoming is unique in our variety of resources and identify authors’ points of view as they read samples of opinion texts related to energy sources.  Wind turbine simulations provide real-life examples of force and motion and engineering design challenges.  Students demonstrate their understanding of energy stewardship as they wrap up the unit by creating an acrostic poem about what it means to be a STEWARD.

3rd Grade Outdoor Recreation & Tourism:

Third Grade students learn about Wyoming plants, wildlife, and recreation in this unit of six lessons.  Students discover different plants, wildlife, and recreational activities common in our state as they discuss, read, and share information.  A game of tag provides the opportunity to practice math skills as students experience a wildlife population control simulation.  The concept of invasive species is introduced as students explore another type of relationship between plants, wildlife, and humans; and learn about careers responsible for the stewardship of these resources.  Stewardship challenges are again considered as the unit wraps up with an engineering design challenge focused on either wildlife or invasive plants.


4th Grade Agriculture:

Fourth Grade students explore the “what, where, and why” of Wyoming agriculture in this unit of seven lessons.  Students review the history of agriculture in Wyoming and discuss stewardship challenges and choices made by previous generations.  With this historical context in mind, students research current farming and ranching practices and make connections between where crops and livestock grow compared to Wyoming’s geography.   They wrap up this research by exploring how advancements in technology impact the agriculture industry.  Students are then introduced to the concept of cost-benefit analysis before putting that theory into practice in the unit’s final project scenario.

4th Grade Minerals & Energy:

Fourth Grade students take a comprehensive look at energy production in Wyoming in this unit of eleven lessons.  Students explore the concept of stewardship through the lens of mineral and energy production as they review the industry’s history in our state.  Wyoming’s abundant energy resources provide a research topic as students learn more about oil, natural gas, coal, uranium, wind, and hydroelectric production before creating posters to share their knowledge.  Students then discuss how this energy meets the needs of Wyoming and the United States. Armed with this knowledge, students compare and contrast the benefits and challenges associated with different sources of energy production.  An engineering challenge rounds out their exploration before students present their knowledge in a “Minerals & Energy Fair” and write personal stewardship pledges.

4th Grade Outdoor Recreation & Tourism:

Fourth Grade students discover Wyoming’s public spaces, unique landforms, and historical sites in this unit of seven lessons.  Students explore how they can be stewards as they discuss who owns different areas of land in Wyoming, how each is used, and who is responsible for managing it.  Management of public sites introduces discussion about past and present stewardship practices that ensure access for future generations. Students are challenged to find a solution for an engineering challenge relating to recreation to wrap up the unit.


5th Grade Agriculture:

Fifth Grade students are challenged to think about Wyoming agriculture through scientific, cultural, and economic lenses in this unit of nine lessons. Students race to become “Master Stewards” as they learn about many different aspects that go into making complex stewardship decisions.  The study of how species interact within an ecosystem provides a scientific base for students to use when reviewing and making decisions for a series of real-world agricultural scenarios.  Students are then challenged to consider cultural and economic factors as they navigate a “Choose Your Ag Adventure” scenario game.  Having had the opportunity to explore multiple decision-making lenses, students are allowed to revisit previous scenarios before applying their new skills in a final challenge scenario and achieving the status of “Master Steward.”

5th Grade Minerals & Energy:

Fifth Grade students get their hands dirty as they discover Wyoming’s mineral resources in this unit of six lessons.  Students make personal connections with Wyoming’s mineral industry as they learn about mineral by-products they use every day.  After learning the importance of mineral resources, students explore where they are found, how they are mined, and how mining affects the economy of our towns, cities, and state.  Stewardship of our minerals and mines is explored through a hands-on-reclamation activity where students try to “mine” and “reclaim” a pan layered with oatmeal, marbles, shaving cream, and sprinkles.  Students share knowledge gained during the unit as they create a public service announcement for their final project.

5th Grade Outdoor Recreation & Tourism:

Fifth Grade students meet real-life stewards of Wyoming’s outdoor recreation and tourism in this unit of seven lessons.  As students try to solve the puzzle of the “Mystery Steward,” they are introduced to nine different individuals and organizations who are stewards of Wyoming.  Students learn about who owns and manages Wyoming lands, different stewardship challenges facing that management, and how stewardship decisions are made throughout the lessons.  Close reading and observation during videos help students understand that good stewardship can take many forms.  In the final lesson, students demonstrate their understanding of stewardship as they identify themselves as the “Mystery Steward” and write a paragraph describing their stewardship decision based on a chosen scenario.

A New Way to Visualize Our World

Ten students from across Wyoming submitted projects for the 2020 GIS Mapping Contest, bringing the program to a strong finish.  Following school closures, we revised the GIS Mapping Program to fit a new remote learning environment. Now open to students of all ages, we are excited to have participants ages 4-17!  Parents mentored their students creating projects that map everything from property boundaries and irrigation features to wildlife habitats and hiking trails.  A panel of judges will be reviewing these creative projects, and we will announce the winner on June 17th.  Thank you to everyone who participated this year!

Your students can still explore GIS Mapping in the “Let’s Map It” lesson from the Family Learning Series! The lesson plan and a video tutorial can all be found HERE.  

Congratulations to our 2020 Educator of the Year!

5th Grade Students learn about stewardship in Yellowstone National Park as they simulate a geyser.

Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom (WAIC) would like to congratulate Marissa Cornelison, the 2020 Educator of the Year.  Mrs. Cornelison currently teaches 5th Grade at Mountain View Elementary in Uinta County.

Cornelison is active in her school, community, and WAIC programs.  She has been involved with writing, revising, and teaching the Wyoming Stewardship Project over the past three years.  Cornelison commented, “I am so pleased to have had the opportunity to be a part of the Stewardship Project in many aspects.  I am constantly telling the people I meet about this wonderful project I am a part of and sharing why I think it is so exceptional.”

Over the last two years, Cornelison has taught the Wyoming Stewardship Project to every 5th Grade student at Mountain View Elementary.  Cornelison appreciates the unbiased way information is presented, and the sense of stewardship and state pride the lessons inspire in her students.  In support of Cornelison’s award, Toni Martin wrote, “Marissa is a skilled teacher… Peers, parents, and community members recognize her work ethic and dedication to her students.”

Kim Dolezal, Assistant Superintendent of Uinta County School District #4, commented, “Marissa is a true ambassador for Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom.” WAIC is grateful for Cornelison’s continued enthusiasm and support of our educational programs.

As the 2020 Educator of the Year, Cornelison will be awarded a cash prize of $1,000 through Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom.  The award is funded by Mantha Phillips and the Wyoming Livestock Roundup.

Congratulations Marissa!

Congratulations to the 2020 Bookmark Contest Finalists!

This spring, we are excited to recognize 12 students as our 2020 bookmark finalists.  Over 1,900 entries were submitted for this contest, and the artwork was incredible.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate and share your Wyoming resource message!  All finalists were selected by a panel of judges, and the winner of our People’s Choice was chosen by popular vote during National Agriculture Week.

2020 People’s Choice

Erin Newton
5th Grade, Meadowlark Elementary, Sheridan

2020 Finalists

Emelyen Baev
4th Grade, Jackson Elementary, Jackson

Elise Carroll
5th Grade, Buffalo Ridge Elementary, Gillette

Shea Churches
4th Grade, Harmony Elementary, Laramie

Teague Duncan
5th Grade, Cloud Peak Elementary, Buffalo

Cody Fisher
5th Grade, Westside Elementary, Powell

Gabe Jukkala
4th Grade, Rozet Elementary, Rozet

Nathan Peterson
3rd Grade, Cloud Peak Elementary, Buffalo

Peyton Rodriguez
3rd Grade, Cloud Peak Elementary, Buffalo

Rylan Verhelst
5th Grade, Paintbrush Elementary, Gillette

Stella Waliezer
5th Grade, Moorcroft K-8, Moorcroft

Tanner Woods
4th Grade, Hobbs Elementary, Cheyenne

With extended closures due to current unforeseen circumstances, the Bookmark Celebration scheduled for April 24th has been postponed.  We will be holding a celebration for the finalists and their families at a later date.  Invitations will be mailed when the date and location of the celebration have been confirmed.  We appreciate everyone’s continued patience as we navigate these uncertain times.

In the meantime, we invite families and teachers looking for meaningful activities to check out our Family Learning Series and Wyoming Stewardship Project lessons.  All these materials are available to download and use for free.  Educators can also sign up for summer workshops that will be happening in communities across Wyoming. Together we will make it through this!

Explore GIS Mapping with Your Family!

GIS mapping is an amazing technology, allowing you, and your kids, to visualize and understand our world in a whole new way.  Marking points of interest, mapping the length of features, and measuring the area of space.  All of this, and more, are possible when combined into a simple easy-to-read map.  So, let’s get started!

 

Create a mapping project with your family
See the activity guide

The sky is the limit when it comes to creating your own mapping project.  As you can see in the training video, my kids and I created a simple map of our small acreage near Cheyenne. But, that’s only one idea!  Take MapItFast along when you walk the dog, explore your local park, or go for a drive.  After you’ve experimented with GIS mapping, we’d love to see what you’ve created.  So, take a quick (30 second – 1 minute) video of your kids telling us about what they learned while creating their map. Send it to us at info@wyaitc.org.  By sending us your video before May 15, 2020, you will be entered into our GIS Mapping Contest and eligible for some fun prizes!

Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom is excited to be able to offer the use of MapItFast for this activity.  This simple, quick-to-learn, mapping app has been generously donated by AgTerra Technologies of Sheridan.  To sign up for your free account, please fill out our account sign up form.  We’ll get you set up with a username and password within 1 business day.  In the meantime, visit Google Play or the AppStore and download MapItFast to any GPS enabled device.  And don’t worry, the app doesn’t use your mobile data, it connects to GPS Satellites for mapping and won’t sync your project to web browser until you’re back on WIFI.

MapItFast can be used on either mobile devices or through your favorite internet browser.  To use MapItFast online visit https://mapitfast.agterra.com/ and enter your login information.

Sign up for MapItFast

  • *Please note: We cannot send your login information to your student email address, as many school districts block outside emails. Please supply an alternate email address we so can ensure that you will receive your account information.

We can’t wait to hear from you!

 

 

Laramie Peak Motors, Platte Valley Bank, and WyoTech support Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom’s education outreach

Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom is the grateful recipient of a leased 2019 Ford EcoSport, thanks to a generous partnership between Laramie Peak Motors, Platte Valley Bank, and WyoTech.  The businesses worked together to donate a three-year lease vehicle to assist the non-profit with traveling to elementary schools across the state. Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom provides agriculture and natural resource lessons, aligned to standards, for 2nd-5th Grade classrooms statewide.  The official launch of the Wyoming Stewardship Project will send staff across Wyoming to support elementary schools for program implementation and educator professional development opportunities.  Jessie Dafoe, Executive Director stated, “We couldn’t be more thankful for this remarkable donation. This vehicle will cut our travel costs immensely, and allow us to impact more students and support educators at a greater level.”

FFA in the Elementary Classroom

Members of Wyoming FFA chapters shared their knowledge of agriculture with fourth-grade students during the State FFA Convention in April.  Wyoming Agriculture in the Classroom provided the workshop for FFA Members, before accompanying the Jr. High and High School students on a visit to the fourth-grade classrooms at Sunrise Elementary in Cheyenne.


Continue reading “FFA in the Elementary Classroom”

Congratulations to the 2019 Bookmark Program Finalists!


We are excited to announce the finalists for the 2019 Bookmark & Beyond program!  With over 1,550 entries from 2nd-5th Grade students statewide, we want to congratulate each and every participant.  Thank you to all students, teachers, and parents who participated. Our Wyoming students are amazing artists!

These student finalists, their families, and teachers will be invited to a celebration in Cheyenne on May 17th.  Please watch for invitations within the next few weeks. Continue reading “Congratulations to the 2019 Bookmark Program Finalists!”