HOLBROOK — Smithfield Foods, Inc. has donated $5,000 to the Navajo School District STEM Program to allow teachers to bring the topic of agriculture and ecosystems to their science classes. This program will train teachers on how to teach STEM focused lessons through the lens of sustainable food agriculture and ecosystems.

“We are so excited to support the Navajo School District STEM program as they develop agriculture-based education programs,” said Jonathan Toms, Charitable Initiatives Manager at Smithfield Foods. “We take pride in our sustainable approach to food production and know that these lessons will engage and inspire students right here in our local community.”

The new lesson plan trainings sponsored by Smithfield Foods contextualize science using renewable energy solutions found in agriculture. The elementary lesson will teach science concepts such as renewable vs. nonrenewable resources and provide examples of renewable energy resources through agriculture. The secondary lesson evaluates some of the environmental impacts of production agriculture and explores technologies that minimize human impact by creating biogas energy from animal waste.

“We want to thank Smithfield for this opportunity to bring quality professional development for our educators in our region. When 50 more teachers fully understand and are able to implement quality science education for our students then everyone wins,” added Jalyn Gerlich, Navajo County Superintendent of Schools. “Navajo County Education Service Agency is available to deliver virtual and when safe in person trainings for our educators. Susan Rodriguez is organizing these trainings and we know they will be of the highest quality.”

Teachers interested in participating in the training sessions in Pinetop may register here. If you are interested in participating in the training session in Holbrook, register here. The training will be held in person through a soft opening with 25 teachers that will expand later this year. For more information, contact Navajo County Education Specialist Susan Rodriguez atSusan.Rodriguez@NavajoCountyAZ.gov.

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