PSM Hosts hands on workshops for Local School Teachers

PSM Helps Middle and High School Teachers Get Hands-On Experience with Agricultural Science

Nourish the Future Attendees - High School teachers stand for a photo at the Michigan State University Agronomy Farm.

Recently the Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences hosted more than 20 area middle and high school science teachers in Nourish the Future's (NTF) first Michigan-based conference: “Feeding & Fueling the World for middle & high school teachers.” This workshop, fully funded by the National Corn Growers Association and the United Soybean Board and brought to Michigan through support from the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan and Michigan Wheat Program, is part of a national series that allows educators to learn agricultural topics to take back to their students.

Erin Bosch-Hannah helps teachers connect their students to MSU through pathways such as agricultural technology and agronomy majors.
Dr. Kurt Thelen spoke about the future of biofuels.
In the greenhouse, Dr. Dave Douches takes questions about potato breeding and feeding the world.
MSU Agronomy Farm Manager Mike Particka talks to the teachers about the farm and equipment

Time for a field trip! Michigan State researchers see facilities like this every day, but now Michigan science teachers get direct access through Feeding and Fueling the World, a professional learning event about STEM in agriculture.

Teachers surround a lab bench cooperating on experiments.

Teachers surround a lab bench cooperating on experiments.

Teachers surround a lab bench cooperating on experiments.
Teachers were treated to an afternoon in the lab, using curriculum developed to integrate agricultural concepts in Michigan science teaching.  (previous three photos)



Nourish the Future participants learned about the experiences of high school Students in the Multicultural Apprenticeship Program (MAP), during a presentation that MAP students gave to the teachers.   MAP is a four-week summer experience program sponsored by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) at Michigan State University (MSU).     The program is designed to give high school students the opportunity to experience college life and to explore the many exciting educational and career opportunities in the agricultural and food sciences, natural resources and related fields.

Through MAP, students work in many different areas including food science, agricultural engineering, forestry, animal sciences, horticulture and crop and soil sciences, environmental and natural resource management, veterinary medicine and a number of other areas.   MAP is designed for high school students currently in 10th and 11th grades who have strong interest and aptitude in science, math and other academic areas.  Students are selected for MAP based on interest, as indicated by their application essay and  academic performance. Students are also recommended by teachers and counselors as students who would benefit from participating in MAP. Although there is no required GPA to participate in MAP,  selection to the program is competitive.

Each MAP participant is matched with a CANR faculty member to work on a research project. Participants are expected to engage in some sort of research or program on a daily basis. During the four weeks, participants participate in field trips, leadership seminars and a number of other educational, social and cultural activities.  Participants  gain hands-on experience in laboratory and field research, and work with computers and other highly technical equipment, and live on campus in a university residence hall and eat meals in the dining hall.  

MAP Students learn first-hand about working in agriculture and natural resources-related fields, and experience what college life is all about.   MAP participants earn a weekly stipend to spend or save for later use.     MAP Participants meet professional role models and fellow participants from across the state. Participants develop lifelong friendships that continue long after the program has ended.

Students participate in MAP free of charge. The program is supported by MSU’s CANR and a number of other public and private agencies and corporations. Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the MSU campus.

Students Present their research to teachers.
MAP Students describe their research methods and findings to the Nourish the Future participants.
Teachers listen while students from CANR and MSU's Multicultural Apprenticeship Program (MAP) program talk about their research in Dr. Addie Thompson's Lab. The students are learning about maize breeding with Dr. Thompson.  (two most recent photos)

“Nourish the Future science teachers from across Michigan and the midwest were impressed by the MAP students’ presentation. Their top-tier presentation highlighted their takeaways, explained the program experience, and encouraged teachers to share the program with their high school students. Thursday, August 3, 2023 at MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources.   We’d like to thank Dr. Addie Thompson for introducing teachers to the MAPS program,” said NTF’s Katy Engle.

“Michigan science teachers want to give a big THANK YOU to the generous sponsors supporting Feeding and Fueling the World, the 2-day professional learning event held this week in East Lansing.”


Nourish the Future is a national education initiative developed by science teachers for science teachers, connecting students to modern agriculture. The mission of Nourish the Future is to help teachers inspire their students– not only to learn science and solve problems– but to see the possibilities of STEM careers in agriculture.

Nourish the Future participants:

  • receive curriculum and free supplies to implement the lessons
  • work with a supportive network of leading-edge science teachers
  • connect with local farmers, food scientists, agronomists, technologists, researchers, and other agriculture experts

For more information about Nourish the Future, visit or email

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