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Discovery Virtual Field Trip teaches soil science through sports


Most middle school students probably don’t realize the important role soil science plays in the world of sports. That’s why the Nutrients for Life Foundation, an educational non-profit that educates students and the public about the vital role soil nutrients play in growing our world, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, are hosting a LIVE Virtual Field Trip for students nationwide from Texas A&M on March 15, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

The LIVE event, “Play Ball: The Science Behind Sports Turf Management,” will engage middle school students with an exclusive look at the scientific practices and innovative technologies used in sports turf management.

“We are excited to partner with Discovery Education to provide innovative resources to 21st century learners that expand their understanding of the valuable role soil plays in developing our growing world,” said Nutrients for Life Foundation Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer. “Sports start from the ground up with healthy soil, and we are proud to expose the next generation of scientists to exciting career paths in agronomics and soil science.”

Hosted live from College Station, Texas, this Virtual Field Trip is part of the Nutrients for Life Foundation and Discovery Education’s “From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil” multi-year education initiative. Designed to give middle school students a deeper understanding of the important role science and soil nutrients play in agriculture, “From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil” explores core science connections between soil nutrients, plants, and crops.

During this live event, Nick McKenna, Assistant Field Manager of Texas A&M University, will share how he utilizes soil science and critical thinking skills in turf management. From soil chemistry to fertilizer production, McKenna and his team will provide students with an in-depth look into how Texas A&M sports fields are maintained and kept safe the university’s athletes. “Play Ball: The Science Behind Sports Turf Management,” will help students make connections between the STEM concepts they are learning in the classroom and real-world careers in today’s agricultural industry. Participants across the country may register at

“Discovery Education is proud to continue a longstanding partnership with the Nutrients for Life Foundation to seed the curiosity of young learners, while encouraging them to explore and grow,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Discovery Education. “Connecting STEM concepts to real-world careers through an immersive experience like the ‘Play Ball’ Virtual Field Trip is transformative and empowers educators to reach their students through curriculum in breakthrough ways.”

To support educators beyond the Virtual Field Trip, “From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil” also provides middle school students, educators, and families with a suite of comprehensive digital resources that uncover a deeper understanding of the role soil science plays in everyday life and the importance of soil nutrients in agriculture. These resources include dynamic interactive lesson plans, digital explorations, bilingual family activities, and a ranging collection of agricultural career profiles.

“Highlighting the real-world application of science and technology in classroom instruction is my passion and integrating this Virtual Field Trip will provide my students the unique opportunity to explore STEM concepts in the context of real-world careers,” said Patti Grammens, science teacher at Lakeside Middle School, Forsyth County Schools, Georgia. “Offering my students a pathway to explore Texas A&M college, the science behind sports turf management, and an immersive educational experience helps me to connect exciting and enriching concepts to everyday life.”

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