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Dallas Elementary School wins the 5th-grade prize for Soil Health Explorers STEM Challenge

Dallas, Ga. – Congratulations to Dallas Elementary School’s “Venture Soil Detectives,” taught by Stephanie Atkinson, for winning the fifth-grade division of the Soil Health Explorers STEM Challenge held last spring.
The Dallas Elementary students won their fifth-grade division with a creative video “Underground News Network” that depicted team members posing as reporters and soil experts as they conducted a mock news interview to share what they learned about soil health. Teachers whose class won their grade division received a $250 classroom supply grant and an educational conservation resource kit donated by GACD.
Each class that participated in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) challenge was asked to answer the question, “How can we improve soil biodiversity and overall soil health?”
The challenge, open to third through fifth-grade classes statewide, required participating classes to 1) Develop an initial report after examining a plot of land to determine the land’s soil health status by performing a series of tests on the soil; 2) consult with their local Farm Bureau office, Natural Resources Conservation Service office and/or UGA Extension office to discuss soil health with their class; 3) Create a video presentation on how they improved their soil and learned how real-world factors impact the soil on their plot of land.
The Georgia Association of Conservation Districts (GACD), a non-profit organization that works with the state’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts to promote the conservation of natural resources, sponsored the statewide competition, which was coordinated by the Georgia Ag Experience (GAE) and Georgia Foundation for Agriculture (GFA).
Teachers interested in participating in the fall ’21 Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities STEM Challenge may visit www.gfb.ag/stemchallenge for more information and to register for the program. Once teachers register their class, they will receive instant access to a digital resource toolkit that equips the class for participating in the soil health stem challenge. Nov. 12 is the deadline to enter the fall competition.
The Georgia Ag Experience/Georgia Foundation for Agriculture STEM Challenge is designed to be a bi-annual competition with a spring and fall contest. The GACD is the 2021 challenge sponsor. The purpose of the challenge is to encourage elementary teachers and students in grades 3-5 to explore aspects of Georgia agriculture by applying their STEM skills to solve real-world problems that farmers face in producing our food and fiber.

Dallas Elementary

Pictured from right, Jena Leone, Georgia Association of Conservation Districts Northwest Georgia Regional program manager, and Georgia Foundation for Agriculture Executive Director Lily Baucom congratulate Dallas Elementary School (DES) Assistant Principal Kelly Davis, DES Teacher Stephanie Atkinson and DES Principal Tameka Walker for winning the 5th Grade division of the Soil Health Explorers STEM Challenge as Tracy Grice, Paulding County Farm Bureau; Ag in the Classroom Coordinator & Coosa River Soil & Water Conservation District director, offers congratulations.