TAMPA, Fla. - Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, announced a partnership with NBC Learn, the education arm of NBC News, to bring science to life for high school students in Iowa and Illinois. The program is focused on building students' understanding and interest in agricultural science by providing innovative, video-based educational resources to schools at no cost.
Through this partnership, Pioneer will fund subscriptions to the NBC Learn Science Collections for 40 schools in Iowa and Illinois for the 2011-2012 school year. The partnership was announced at Commodity Classic in Tampa, Fla.
Through the grant from Pioneer, NBC Learn will make available more than a thousand video clips from NBC News archives, plus current NBC News science coverage, to Iowa and Illinois teachers, students and schools to use as teaching tools.
"Meeting the challenge of doubling agricultural productivity by 2050 is dependent on the next generation of young talent with an interest and understanding of agriculture," said Judd O'Connor, vice president - Pioneer Hi-Bred. "We are proud to support the expansion of the NBC Learn science curriculum across Iowa and Illinois to help engage young people in the opportunities available in this growing industry."
"NBC Learn is proud to partner with Pioneer and DuPont to make compelling real-life stories of agricultural science available to students and teachers. Through this effort, NBC Learn hopes to inspire a new generation of students devoted to innovation in agriscience," said Soraya Gage, executive producer - NBC Learn.
The NBC Learn Science Collections include resources on biology, chemistry, physics and eight other science fields, including an agriscience collection. The relevant, engaging videos in the collections are designed to capture students' attention and bring events to life. For example, NBC News archival footage from the 1930s Dust Bowl is used to demonstrate how drought impacts agriculture.
"This partnership is an innovative investment in our youth," said Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "This kind of programming that links science to the events that have shaped our world and our industry is the kind of thing that can help inspire young people to become the next generation of scientists and Iowa leaders."
"We need to engage young people in a discussion about the challenges and opportunities in agriculture," said Illinois Director of Agriculture Thomas E. Jennings. "This partnership is an engaging way for students to explore the science behind the industry that feeds our world."
This program complements Pioneer's long tradition of support for other agricultural education programs such as 4-H and FFA. In addition, Pioneer provides support to the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture's "My American Farm" online interactive gaming platform that includes educational resources.
The DuPont Office of Education and NBC Learn began their collaboration in 2009. The goal was to continue to build a library of science videos to help breathe new life into the topics of biology, chemistry and engineering. The collaborative effort is engaging teachers, students and their families across the nation with resources that address science curriculum, grade and state standards in new and exciting ways. NBC Learn is also partnering on the 25th annual DuPont Challenge Science Essay Competition .