Kansas Corn has published a new educational book titled, “We Grow Corn—Raising corn on a Kansas family farm”. The book, with an accompanying video series, will be an important component of the Kansas Corn STEM program, which provides STEM-based lessons and classroom materials to K-12 teachers. In the 2018-19 school year, Kansas Corn STEM reached over 1,300 teachers, and more than 50,000 students. The addition of the “We Grow Corn” book and videos will expand the program’s impact on STEM learning in Kansas schools.
Kansas Corn collaborated with northeast Kansas corn farmers Brad and Danyelle McCauley and their four children to show students how corn is grown. The book follows the McCauley family farm through the year with photographs, information and fun facts. Readers will also learn about irrigated corn on a page featuring the Steve Rome family farm in southwest Kansas. Eight online videos featuring Brad McCauley and Steve Rome accompany the book to give students a deeper look into farming. An online teacher resource page is also available. Farmers played a key role in the project, according to Kansas Corn Director of Education Sharon Thielen, PhD, who authored the book and led the project.
“Farmers were involved in every step of creating this book and video series. We especially appreciate the help of the McCauley and Rome farm families who brought this project to life. Our goal was to make this an informative book about corn farming in Kansas while providing STEM learning opportunities,” Thielen said. “Working with Manhattan-based photographer and videographer Ray Martinez, we were able to capture stunning images that authentically depict a year on Kansas corn farms.”
McCauley said his family participated in the project to support STEM education in Kansas schools.
“This project was important to our family because it supports education in our schools by showing how we grow corn on our family farm,” Brad McCauley said. “Science and technology play a big role in growing corn and other crops in Kansas. That’s why corn farmers support this effort to support STEM learning in our Kansas classrooms.”
The We Grow Corn book and video series is part of a larger offering of lessons and material for K-12 teachers. The hands-on lessons range from sprouting corn seeds and understanding soil and water needs for crops to making corn-based plastics and ethanol in challenging high school lab experiments. The book is available to Kansas teachers and a book will also be included in each teacher kit sent out this year through the Kansas Corn STEM program. Teachers can order lessons and materials for their grade level online at kansascornstem.com. A teacher guide, online access to the book, videos and photos are available at wegrowcorn.com
The Kansas Corn STEM program is led by Kansas Corn staff and teachers across the state who write lessons and labs for use in Kansas classrooms. The program received national recognition with the “Reaching for Excellence” award from the National Corn Growers Association earlier this year. Teachers can learn more about Kansas Corn’s education program at kansascornstem.com and access online materials for the book and videos at wegrowcorn.com