AgVenture: Establishing the Link between STEM and Agriculture

Becky Ridgeway, Virginia Brown


Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is an integral part of primary school curriculum. AgVenture allows Extension to teach 4th graders about the connection between STEM and agriculture. Extension educators in Maryland developed hands-on activities around animals, plant sciences and nutrition, while linking station-specific activities back to STEM standards. Pretests and posttests show a statistically significant change in STEM-related knowledge by students, while feedback from teachers demonstrates the educational value of the program. Because of these results, AgVenture has grown and now has a waiting list of interested schools. The success of the AgVenture program can be replicated in other Extension programs throughout Maryland and nationwide.


STEM education; AgVenture; elementary school; experiential learning

Full Text:



ASSET STEM Education. (2016). ASSET STEM education: Our program. Retrieved from

Barczewski, A., Bennett, S., Gordon, D., Hutson, T., & BhaduriHauck, S. (2016). Using the AGsploration: the science of Maryland agriculture curriculum as a tool to increase youth appreciation and understanding of agriculture and science. Journal of Youth Development, 11(3), 141-146. Retrieved from

Campbell, B.T., Wilkinson, C. A. & Shepherd, P. J. (2014). Agricultural awareness days: Integrating agricultural partnerships and STEM education. Journal of Extension, 52(2), Article 2TOT8. Retrieved from

Campbell, B. T., Wilkinson, C. A., Shepherd, P. J., & Gray, P. (2015). Industry and Extension partnership to enhance STEM and agricultural education. Journal of Extension, 53(4), Article 4TOT6. Retrieved from

Dillivan, K. D. & Dillivan, M. N. (2014). Student interest in STEM disciplines: Results from a summer day camp. Journal of Extension, 52(1), Article 1RIB5. Retrieved from

Horton, R.L., Krieger, J. & Halasa, K. (2013). 4-H ChickQuest: Connecting agri-science with STEM standards in urban schools. Journal of Extension, 51(1), Article 1IAW7. Retrieved from

I-STEM Education Initiative. (2016). I-STEM education initiative. Retrieved from

Kolb, D.A. (1984). Experiential learning. Englewood Cliffs, N. J.: Prentice-Hall.

Luckey, A. N., Murphey, T. P., Cummins, R. L. & Edwards, M. B. (2013). Assessing youth perceptions and knowledge of agriculture: The impact of participating in an AgVenture program. Journal of Extension, 51(3), Article 3RIB3. Retrieved from

Maryland State Department of Education. (2012). Maryland state STEM standards of practice framework. Retrieved from

Maryland State Department of Education. (2014). Framework and instructional guide grades K-5. Retrieved from

Meyer, N. J., Scott, S., Strauss, A. L., Nipolt, P. L., Oberhouser, K. S., & Blair, R. B. (2014). Citizen science as a REAL environment for authentic scientific inquiry. Journal of Extension, 52(4), Article 4IAW3. Retrieved from

NC STEM Center. (2016). Strategies that engage minds. Retrieved from

Sallee, J. & Peek, G. G. (2014). Fitting the framework: The STEM Institute and the 4-H essential elements. Journal of Extension, 52(2), Article 2FEA8. Retrieved from

Sallee, J., Schmitt-McQuitty, L., Swint, S., Meek, A., Ybarra, G. & Dalton, R. (2015). TechXcite: Discover engineering—A new STEM curriculum. Journal of Extension, 53(3), Article 3TOT5. Retrieved from

Science Foundation Arizona. (2016). Arizona STEM network. Retrieved from

Spielmaker, D. M., & Leising, J. G. (2013). National agricultural literacy outcomes. Retrieved from

Texas A&M University. (2015). Agricultural literacy. Retrieved from

University of Arizona. (2015a). Agricultural literacy. Retrieved from

University of Arizona. (2015b). History of ag-literacy outreach at the MAC farm. Retrieved from

U.S. Department of Education. (2015). Elementary/middle school STEM full implementation. Retrieved from



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Becky Ridgeway, Virginia Brown

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.