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Trillium Grant Allows AgScape to Develop New Resources

With the support of a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, AgScapeĀ® will be developing four new resources to connect students with real world information about the agri-food sector.

One key component of a strong education system is real world learning, particularly in high school, when students are making career decisions and preparing to enter the workforce.  With the support of a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, AgScape® will be developing four new resources to connect students with real world information about the agri-food sector.

In consultations with classroom educators, AgScape® identified a gap in the current offering of resources for Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) programs.  SHSM's are "ministry-approved specialized programs that allow students to focus their learning on a specific economic sector while meeting the requirements to graduate from secondary school"[i].

Contextualized Learning Activities (CLAs) are a mandatory component of SHSM programs however; according to several SHSM teachers, there is a lack of high quality CLA's available for use.  Randy Dyck, a teacher with Elmira District Secondary School says, "Real world CLA’s are difficult to generate due to the lack of, and/or access to, real-world cross-curricular related subject resources".

The Ontario Trillium Foundation grant will address this gap by funding the development of four CLA's - one each for science, math, language and business.  According to AgScape® Executive Director, Colleen Smith, the products of this grant will provide tremendous value to the education system. “Break through strategies in education need innovative delivery maps for educators and students.  The OTF grant enables AgScape to construct a critical component of the Ontario SHSM strategy map – the CLA’s.  Let the experiential learning begin!”                                                     

One CLA has already been completed in draft form for science and was piloted last fall with educators.  The CLA, titled Keeping the Great Lakes Great, will be suitable for use in the Agriculture, Environment, and Horticulture & Landscaping SHSMs.  The resource allows students to investigate potential pollutants and threats to Great Lakes health, as well as strategies and solutions for maintaining Great Lakes health.  On October 5th, the resource was be introduced to educators and students attending a special SHSM Student Summit with an emphasis on the Great Lakes, held at Ontario Place.

[i] http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/morestudentsuccess/shsm_fact_sheet.pdf

 

 

An agency of the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) is one of Canada’s largest granting foundations.  With a budget of over $136 million, OTF awards grants to some 1,000 projects every year to build healthy and vibrant Ontario communities.?