Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Are We Preparing the Next Generation for Tomorrow's Global Challenges? New Study Suggests We Have Work to Do.

Statistics Show 80 Percent of High School Science Teachers Believe Agri-Science Is Important, but Only 22 Percent Teach It

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., March 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- As the agriculture and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) communities celebrate National Ag Day, a new study released today found that more than 80 percent of high school science teachers surveyed think agricultural science is important, but only 22 percent say it makes up at least some of their lesson plans.

Survey data released by Bayer and National 4-H Council on National Ag Day show that while 80 percent of high school science teachers surveyed think agricultural science is important, only 22 percent say it makes up at least some of their lesson plans.

Sponsored by Bayer in collaboration with National 4-H Council, the survey found that fewer than half of the teachers surveyed felt qualified to teach agri-science. Some 48 percent believe there is less emphasis placed on learning this particular STEM industry today as compared to 15 years ago.

"Food security, reliable access to safe and affordable food, is one of the most significant challenges of our time with most experts predicting that by 2050, population demands from nearly 10 billion people will require a 60 percent increase in global food production," said Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO of National 4-H Council. "Science matters now more than ever. We need to create educational opportunities that inspire a new generation of leaders willing to tackle this challenge."

Bayer and National 4-H Council also conducted a survey of more than 1,000 parents of high school students. The survey found that 86 percent of parents agree it's important for the country's future success to encourage pursuit of careers in the agricultural industries, and 68 percent said the industry provides exciting career opportunities. However, nearly 70 percent of respondents do not believe their children will pursue a career in agri-science, even though data from the United States Department of Agriculture shows tens of thousands of jobs each year in agriculture go unfilled by qualified candidates.

According to Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go to space and Chief Ambassador for Bayer's Making Science Make Sense initiative, the data for agriscience parallels an overall conundrum in science education and STEM careers. "When it comes to STEM education, studies have consistently shown our nation's youth frequently do not get the exposure to or experiences required to be successful nor are our expectations for them high enough," said Dr. Jemison. "If we are to meet the challenges facing humanity's future on this planet, such as meeting the nutrition and health needs of an ever-growing population, we need new generations of STEM-literate leaders seeking creative and innovative solutions."

By launching Science Matters in August 2017, Bayer and National 4-H Council have committed to equip at least 25,000 students in urban, suburban and rural areas alike with the tools and support they need to deepen their understanding of science. The multifaceted program includes:

  • Hands-on curricula provided by 4-H to its network of local club leaders who work with kids in communities across America to demonstrate why science matters to all of us;
  • Creating a nationwide photo contest to heighten young people's awareness of the role science plays in their everyday lives;
  • Providing scholarships for hundreds of young people and leaders to attend the 4-H National Youth Summit on Agri-Science, which exposes young people to the variety of careers in modern agriculture through more than 30 hours of hands-on learning and problem-solving experience; and,
  • Engaging with 4-H clubs across the U.S. through community grants and local volunteerism to enhace the STEM education experience.

For more information on Science Matters, visit 4-H.org/Bayer.

Bayer is committed to bringing new technology and solutions for agriculture and non-agricultural uses. For questions concerning the availability and use of products, contact a local Bayer representative, or visit Crop Science, a division of Bayer, online at www.cropscience.bayer.us.

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About Bayer
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2017, the Group employed around 99,800 people and had sales of EUR 35.0 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.4 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.5 billion. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.

About 4-H
4-H, the nation's largest youth development organization, grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for career tomorrow. 4-H programs empower nearly six million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. 4-H is the youth development program of our nation's Cooperative Extension System and USDA, and serves every county and parish in the U.S. through a network of 110 public universities and more than 3000 local Extension offices. Globally, 4-H collaborates with independent programs to empower one million youth in 50 countries. The research-backed 4-H experience grows young people who are four times more likely to contribute to their communities; two times more likely to make healthier choices; two times more likely to be civically active; and two times more likely to participate in STEM programs. Learn more about 4-H at www.4-H.org, find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/4-H and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/4H.

About the Parent Research
The 2018 Bayer/4-H Science Matters Parent Survey, administered by ORC International, presents the findings of an online survey conducted January 9-15, 2018, among a random sample of 1,004 parents of children ages 13-17 years old. The margin of error for a sample of this size is ± 3% at a 95% confidence level.

About the Teacher Research
The 2018 Bayer/4-H Science Matters Teacher Survey presents the findings of an online survey conducted January 10-22, 2018, among a sample of 1,640 high school science teachers who are members of the National Science Teachers Association.

Contact:

Bayer Media Hotline, 1-862-404-5118, or

Casey Allen, corporate communications
Crop Science, a division of Bayer
Tel: (919) 549-2607
Email: casey.allen@bayer.com

Shani St. John
Porter Novelli
Tel: (404) 995-4515
Email: shani.stjohn@porternovelli.com

Find more information at www.cropscience.bayer.us

Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

At the 4-H National Youth Summit on Agri-Science earlier this year, hundreds of youth were exposed to the variety of careers in modern agriculture. A survey of parents of high school students found that 86 percent agree it’s important for the country’s future success to encourage pursuit of careers in the agricultural industries; however 70 percent do not believe their children will pursue careers in agri-science.

Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to go to space and Chief Ambassador for Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense initiative.

Jennifer Sirangelo, president and CEO of National 4-H Council.

 (PRNewsfoto/Bayer)

By launching Science Matters in August 2017, Bayer and National 4-H Council have committed to equip at least 25,000 students in urban, suburban and rural areas alike with the tools and support they need to deepen their understanding of science.

SOURCE Bayer

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