STEAM Workshop Series

Explore STEAM and learn more about incorporating it into your classroom. Earn professional credit hours and collaborate with professionals from University of Illinois Extension, Ag in the Classroom and other teaching professionals.

Weather and Climate | October 23, 2018

Learn more about incorporating STEAM
when studying weather and climate. Explore some of the kits and resources
available to support your lessons or activities.

Experiential Learning Model | November 27, 2018

Explore 4-H curriculum, workshops and long-term programs that are all based on the Experiential Learning Model. This model can be implemented to increased youth engagement when including STEAM in lessons or activities.

Soil and Plants | January 22, 2019 – CANCELLED

Soil, seed germination, plant growth, soil conservation — all of these topics and more will be covered in this workshop. Explore the kits and resources available to support plant and soil activities or lessons.

Plant and Animal Life Cycles | February 26, 2019

Compare, contrast and explore inter-dependency between plant and animal life cycles. This workshop will support lessons and activities done during Chick it Out in April.

Junk Drawer and Maker Space | March 19, 2019,

Engineering and creativity combine during this workshop. Learn more about how to engage youth to utilize critical thinking and problem-solving skills through challenges. Explore the resources available to support you.

Ten Local Teachers Get AITC Grants

Ten McLean County teachers will receive grant funding from Illinois Ag in the Classroom to add books and projects related to food and farming to their curriculum.

Recipients include:

  • Jennifer Burns, Carlock, Project Grant: “Ag Bags of Books”
  • Jason Wynn, Colene Hoose, Biographies Book Grant
  • Kelly Reardon, Fox Creek, Project Grant: “From Farm to Table”
  • Lori Stuart, LeRoy Elementary, Biographies Book Grant
  • Robert Harrison, Oakdale, Graphic Novels Book Grant
  • Shawn Schwerman, Parkside Jr. High, Graphic Novels Book Grant
  • Jennifer Corbly, Pepper Ridge, Project Grant: “Decomposing & Composting”
  • Suzanne Schertz, Prairieland, Graphic Novels Book Grant
  • Katie Sandage, Stevenson, Graphic Novels Book Grant
  • Tina Thomas, Stevenson, Biographies Book Grant

The grants offer teachers the opportunity to expand their libraries with accurate ag books or purchase supplies for lesson plans related to food and farming.

The Biographies Book Grant allowed teachers to select from titles about Henry Ford, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Deere or George Washington Carver.

The ag-related graphic novels available through the grant covered the Dust Bowl, pasteurization, Levi Strauss and George Washington Carver.

The Illinois Ag in the Classroom teacher grants are offered annually thanks to funding from the IAA Foundation, the charitable arm of Illinois Farm Bureau.

M & M Marketing & More

Make math and marketing concepts a little sweeter with a hands-on M&M activity!

Using a bag of M&M candies to represent a crop, students will learn about futures markets and commodity prices.

The lesson incorporates basic economic concepts and math calculations adaptable for 4th to 8th grades.

Before they open the bag, students predict how many candies of each color.

Once the bag is opened and the candies are counted, students choose how to market their “crop” and maximize profits.

Lesson extensions can also include calculating averages and making bar graphs.

Upper level grades can gain more experience with futures markets using free simulations at

Find the lesson plan from Illinois Ag in the Classroom here.

Resource Request

Farm Fresh Podcast: Bringing Ag to the Classroom

McLean County Ag in the Classroom provides FREE resources – books, lesson plans, hands-on activities & supplies to local schools! All materials are

Click here to learn more or listen to this week’s Farm to Table segment with Ag in the Classroom coordinator, Bridget Caldwell.

Tune in every week for the Farm to Table segment Wednesdays at 12:45 p.m. on WJBC Radio.

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