|Apr 04, 2011 --
Outline Of Need:
Teachers in rural schools struggle to develop science and math programs that challenge and fully engage students. The Memphis Zoo, partnering with Jackson State University in Mississippi, has developed an interactive curriculum popular with students and teachers. However, schools and the Zoo lack funds to provide recurring transportation or to connect rural schools to the learning center via Internet.
How Rural Development Helped:
Rural Development Specialist Terry Kokinda helped the education and IT staff at the Memphis Zoo successfully applies for a $500,000 Distance Learning grant cover the cost of equipment needed to connect the Zoo’s learning center with classrooms at 14 schools in 4 counties across Tennessee.
Soon, students and teachers in Tennessee will have the opportunity to explore how scientists solve engineering and technological problems using nano-technology to mimic the special traits of animals and plants thanks to the Memphis Zoo NanoZoo Connects! initiative.
Rep. Steve Cohen said, "If we are going to successfully compete in a rapidly changing 21st Century global economy, our children must have the necessary tools to get ahead. The NanoZoo Connects! Program will help us accomplish such a goal."
Mississippi's Jackson State University is a leader in nano research and will provide technical expertise and the interactive presentation materials to be used in the curriculum.
"USDA is proud to be part of the partnership extending this cutting-edge educational opportunity to hundreds of students and teachers," said RD State Director Bobby Goode. "Working together, we will out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world."
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 TDD (615) 783-1397.