For Maureen Wickenheiser’s classes at St. Patrick Elementary in Carleton, science learning extends far beyond a textbook. Maureen’s passion for agriculture, science and her students are the reasons why Michigan Farm Bureau (MFB) was proud to honor her as the organization’s 2018 Educator of the year, at the organization’s 99th Annual Meeting at Devos Place.
Maureen is constantly finding new and creative ways to integrate agriculture and natural resource topics into her daily curriculum, teaching fifth through eighth grade science. From teaching students science concepts through experiments with soy-based diesel to lessons on animal by-products by making goat’s milk soap, Wickenheiser continues to encourage her students to think critically while meeting required educational standards. She engages her students through hands-on learning helping them understand the ways agriculture is connected to daily life.
“Maureen fosters relationships between students, staff, parents and the community to integrate agriculture into her lessons,” wrote nominators Richard and Mary Janssens, Monroe County Farm Bureau Promotion and Education chairpersons. “She has partnered with the University of Toledo, Eastern Michigan University and even NASA’s Globe Regional Symposium to provide her students with unique experiences in science education.”
MFB’s Educator of the Year award recognizes teachers who excel at integrating agricultural concepts into curricula and challenge students to develop critical-thinking skills through the analysis of agricultural issues and information. Wickenheiser received a $500 grant to further agricultural educational opportunities in her school and community.
Sponsorship for the Educator of the Year Award is provided by AgroLiquid through the Michigan Foundation for Agriculture. A $1,500 sponsorship, the recipient receives a $500 cash award and a $1,000 scholarship to the 2018 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Portland, Maine.
The Michigan Foundation for Agriculture, a 501(c)(3), is governed by Michigan Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors, and positively contributes to the future of Michigan agriculture through leadership and educational programming.