The pandemic has taken students out of the classroom, but middle and high-schoolers in Oregon and Washington will be able to explore agriculture through immersive experiences, including virtual reality, and other online activities. The program is made possible through a $1 million rapid-response grant from USDA-NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Education and Workforce Development Program, and is one of eight projects nationwide. The goals are to develop agricultural literacy among youth, increase access for youth, educators and 4-H volunteers to immersive agriculture curriculum through virtual reality platforms, and build capacity for future regional efforts.
This is no series of Zoom meetings with the teacher. Oregon State University's (OSU) Precollege Programs and the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences program are partnering with the OSU Extension Service 4-H Youth Development Program to implement an innovative Agriculture Distance Education Toolkit, which will use virtual reality, a computer-generated simulation of an interactive, 3D environment. For more information, read the OSU newsroom article.