logo for Sustainability through Science project

The outreach education component of the EPSCoR Track 2 RII project is to develop and conduct outreach activities and curricula to integrate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education via the science of plant building blocks and sustainability in the context of Food, Water, and Energy Systems into secondary agricultural education classes and 4-H programs. Our goal is to promote interest in STEM by providing agricultural education teachers and 4-H and youth development county agents with tools to engage and train the future STEM workforce and to promote a broader awareness of the interface between agriculture, science and engineering. It is essential to fuel the STEM pipeline in both Kentucky and Louisiana. Furthermore, we are providing research training opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at both the University of Kentucky, Louisiana State University and LSUAg Center. For more information, contact Tanya Dvorak, Ph.D., STEM Outreach Education Coordinator, at tcdv222@uky.edu.

Resources for Teachers


Resources for Educators

 Classroom Resources (lesson plans, activities, etc. on science subjects) are available on the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) website.

Science News Magazine of the Society for Science & the Public – Check out news and science articles on atom and cosmos, earth and environment (agriculture and sustainability are integrated), genes and cells, math and technology, matter and energy and more! There is also a Science News for Students section containing articles and how to use the site in the classroom for teachers.

The National Geographic website has a host of opportunities for literacy as well as photographs and videos across the disciplines that can be a great resource. 

 The Plant Health Instructor Index is a journal of peer-reviewed instructional materials, including K-12 laboratory exercises, and teaching scholarship for plant pathology and closely related disciplines. 


Energy and Sustainability Resources

 Check out K20alt Authentic Learning & Teaching Curriculum for these lessons:

     – Energy Water Bucket Brigade is a lab to help students discover how energy is transferred to ecosystems.
     – Planting Fuel:  Photosynthesis is a lesson where students analyze the process of energy transfer between sunlight and plants as they explore the photosynthesis process. Also check out other Agriculture, Mathematics and Science lessons related to food, water, and energy.

Check out the U. S. Department of Energy National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) STEM Education for multiple educational resources for elementary through high school teachers, as well as for students and parents. STEM instructional activity resources, professional development/training, contests and competitions, and extracurricular STEM opportunities are listed. Internship opportunities are also available on this website.

The U. S Department of Energy Girls of Energy website contains lessons, activities and videos within various realms of energy.

A short 4 minute video titled What is Sustainability? is made available by Kentucky Educational Television (KET) Education, PBS Learning Media.


Biotechnology Resources

Various biotechnology resources, including case studies, curriculum, modules, laboratory protocols, etc., for K-14 educators may be found on the Iowa State University Office of Biotechnology website.

Locate Genetic Engineering (GE) videos on the Iowa Public Television public broadcasting network.

Activities and lessons on biotechnology are located in the Bio-Technology & the Future, Lessons and Resources – Oklahoma State University 4-H Youth Development website.

Using Biotechnology to Detect and Treat Disease lesson with videos and photos is available on the Kentucky Educational Television (KET) Education, PBS Learning Media website.

*More resources will be posted throughout the year. Do you know of or have a sustainability, food, water or energy systems resource you would like posted? Please email it to Tanya.Franke-Dvorak@uky.edu for consideration.