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New Journey 2050 lessons cover innovations in agriculture

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The creators of the educational gaming platform Journey 2050 have added new resources covering innovations and technological advancements, service-learning opportunities, and project-based learning approaches using an agricultural context.

Journey 2050, developed by Nutrien, has added the new resources in an effort to remain current with changes in agriculture and education. The new Lesson 7 covers technological advancements made in agriculture such as use of global positioning systems, drones, temperature and moisture sensors and robots, among others.

To incorporate a service component into Journey 2050, Nutrien collaborated with the WE organization, which delivers free, service learning curriculum to over 16,000 schools and youth groups across North America, the U.K. and the Caribbean through its WE Schools program. Together, Nutrien and WE developed WE Schools: Grow Together, a new service-learning activity and educator resource that empowers young people to explore the issue of food insecurity and develop tangible service actions to tackle it locally or globally.

In addition, the revised program summary is now an activity centered around Project-Based Learning, a teaching method in which students learn by engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects.

The underlying purpose of Journey 2050, is to solve the issues that arise from population increase as by the year 2050 the world’s population is expected to grow by two billion people. Food production needs are expected to rise by 60 to 70 percent, resulting in increased pressure on agricultural land, habitats and communities. The game and its related lessons focus on one profound question: How will we sustainably feed nearly 10 billion people by the year 2050? As students in seventh through 12th grade explore sustainable agriculture, they make inquiry-based decisions to see the ripple effect on social, economic and environmental factors locally and globally.

“True sustainability is balancing your social, economic and environmental footprint,” explained Lindsey Verhaeghe, Sustainability Initiatives Manager for Nutrien, an agriculture input company. “Whether playing Journey 2050 guides students to a career in agriculture or not, an informed consumer is essential for the continued success of agriculture around the world.”

The game features real farm families in Africa, India, and Canada who guide students through interactive activities such as planting, cultivating and harvesting crops endemic to that particular country and developing an agriculture career avatar based on the game player’s interest and abilities.

The continuous advancement of technology and innovations in agriculture to meet the needs of the world population prompted the expansion of lessons in Journey 2050.

The use of technology in agriculture continues to provide solutions to challenges such as weather, pests, consumer demands and labor. The addition of a seventh lesson enhances the program’s relevance and provides a comprehensive overview of technologic advancement in agriculture.

Teachers are encouraged to register online to access the free games and activities. Lesson plans can be accessed here. The computer games and animated videos were designed to appeal to both technology-motivated students as well as teachers looking for direct links to science and social studies standards-based curriculum.

In some states and provinces there are guest speakers who will come into the classroom to deliver a portion of the program. Teachers can see if they have guest speakers in their areas once they are registered.

The game also can be downloaded for free online, or in the App Store, Google Play or Windows Store. To download the game from the Journey website, click here.

Classrooms that complete Journey 2050 may be eligible for a $100 donation credit they can make to pre-selected charities that contribute to sustainability, which helps students think like global citizens who give back to their communities.

Journey 2050 is cutting edge and is continually being updated to keep it relevant and engaging. It’s a collaboration between Nutrien Ltd, Alberta Canola Producers’ Commission, Agriculture in the Classroom (Canada and USA), Nutrients for Life (Canada and USA), 4-H Canada, Ag for Life, National FFA Organization and the Calgary Stampede to name a few.

To learn more about Journey 2050, please visit www.journey2050.com.

Any views or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect those of AGDAILY. Comments on this article reflect the sole opinions of their writers.
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