June 2020 – Food and Nutrition Masters students from Brescia University College and AgScape, Ontario’s leader in agriculture and food education, recently collaborated to strengthen Ontario high school students’ understanding of the connection between agriculture and nutrition.
As one Ontario high school student shared, “I think food education should be a big part in learning in school because it is important for people to know at a young age where their food comes from and how they are fed. It would be fantastic for students to know this because they need to know that all their food is not fake/processed.”
Students from Brescia’s Community Nutrition & Program Planning class developed lesson plans on a variety of topics and created an interactive event concept for high school students. AgScape CAN will help educate students on agricultural practices relating to food and nutrition and learn about various careers in the industry.
“Partnering with AgScape made for a positive experience in community collaboration. Working towards the common goal of engaging youth about agriculture and nutrition provided us with the opportunity to use skills learned in a professional setting,” said a student from the Community Nutrition class and Program Planning class.
The activities developed by the Masters students will continue to be delivered through AgScape’s programs including ThinkAg Career Competitions and in a virtual classroom environment this coming Fall.
The class had the opportunity to work with AgScape’s Program & Resource Manager, Mercedes Unwin, who is also an Ontario Certified Teacher. The group utilized the Business of Food modules, a comprehensive online platform developed by AgScape that allows learners to enhance their knowledge and understanding of agriculture and food at their own pace, from any location.
“Working with AgScape has been a great experiential learning opportunity for our graduate students. Through AgScape’s Business of Food modules, they learned objective and balanced information about agriculture not only to create a curriculum-ready program plan, but also to use in future professional practice. The feedback they received from this community partner enhanced the development and assessment processes, and the real-life value of their project,” said Associate Professor, Dr. June Matthews, Registered Dietitian, Professional Home Economist, and instructor for the course.
Due to the success of this collaboration, AgScape is exploring new opportunities for the Business of Food.
“The Business of Food continues to serve its primary purpose as a professional development tool for Ontario educators, but we are excited to explore other ways the content could provide value – whether it’s in other post-secondary settings or as an orientation tool for agri-food businesses who are hiring employees new to our sector,” said AgScape Executive Director, Glenna Banda. “Now that we have seen the impact the Business of Food can make, we would love to see more people have access and learn objective and balanced information about agriculture and food.”
AgScape is a charitable organization providing objective, fact-based and curriculum-linked resources to Ontario schools on agriculture, food production, environmental sustainability and related topics. AgScape was created in 1991 with the mission to empower Ontario students with impartial and accurate information to increase awareness of the agri-food system and ignite interest in related careers. For more information visit www.agscape.ca, follow on Twitter @AgScapeON, Instagram @AgScape_ON and like on Facebook.com/AgScapeON.
The story can also be found on AgScape’s News section: https://agscape.ca/article/brescia-students-and-agscape-collaborate-to-help-high-school-students-connect-agriculture-and-nutrition-can