Spielmaker Named Project Director of National Ag in the Classroom
Debra Spielmaker, a faculty member in the School of Applied Sciences, Technology and Education, recently began her new role as the Project Director for National Agriculture in the Classroom (AITC).
Spielmaker has been working with AITC on the state level since 1994 and began her new role in September of this year.
With this new position, Spielmaker will be responsible for all of the organization’s initiatives, with tasks including overseeing state programs, professional development, recognition programs, outreach, web-based learning resources, research, program evaluation, and curriculum development.
During her two-year contract, Spielmaker wants to build a curriculum intended to help students meet national standards while using agricultural themes. Accomplishing this goal will include beginning to build a national online resource database for teachers to use in the classroom.
“We want to provide relevant resources [for teachers] to contextualize concepts,” Spielmaker said.
Because Spielmaker has strong ties to Utah, she believes her new position will continue to benefit Utah teachers.
“Anything I’ve developed is with Utah teachers in mind,” Spielmaker said. “More importantly, we get agriculture in the classroom in Utah first [through pilot programs].”
The national organization of AITC serves nearly 5 million students and 60,000 teachers annually through workshops, conferences, field trips, farm tours, and other educational activities. AITC programs include working with state AITC activities engaged in a variety of issues related to agricultural literacy.