New Hanover County Farm Bureau Promotes STEM Education with Gift to Kenan Fellows Program

RALEIGH, N.C., (May 13, 2016) – The New Hanover County Farm Bureau is helping to advance STEM education and teacher leadership in Eastern North Carolina by supporting a 2016-17 Kenan Fellow.

The Farm Bureau has selected Stephanie Titzel, an eighth grade science teacher at Roland-Grise Middle School for its project, “Surf and Turf: Oysters, Finfish and Horticultural Research.” Her mentors are: Melissa Hight of the New Hanover County Farm Bureau; Michele Reedy of the North Carolina Farm Bureau; Dr. Wade Watanabe, Dr. Ami Wilbur and Dr. Lisa Brown Buchanan of UNC- Wilmington; and John Garner of Castle Hayne Research Station. During her three-week summer internship, Titzel will learn about cutting-edge research that is helping to advance horticulture and aquaculture in North Carolina. Drawing from her experience, she will create engaging lessons that will expand the Farm Bureau’s existing Ag in the Classroom curriculum and help students understand the various career pathways in the field of agriculture.

“The New Hanover County Farm Bureau looks forward to the development of exciting new curriculum around our coastal agricultural resources of fish, oysters, and horticulture,” said Hight. “We are gratified in knowing this opportunity will benefit students in not only our county, but our state and beyond.”

Titzel has been teaching for 10 years and holds a B.S. in Botany from N.C. State University and a M.Ed. from UNC-Wilmington. “I am constantly looking for new ways to get students excited about science and STEM,” she said. “I believe in a hands-on student-centered classroom, and this project Surf and Turf will help me to actively engage all students.”

Educators remain in the classroom while completing the year-long fellowship. In addition to the summer internship, Kenan Fellows receive a $5,000 stipend and participate in 80 hours of professional development focused on project-based learning, digital learning and leadership development.

“We have been fortunate to have received continued support from local Farm Bureaus from the foothills to the coast,” said Elaine Franklin, director of the Kenan Fellows Program. “By partnering with the New Hanover County Farm Bureau, we can get more students excited about the importance of North Carolina agriculture.”

About the New Hanover County Farm Bureau Federation: The not-for-profit New Hanover County Farm Bureau Federation is dedicated to Agriculture promotion and education. Visit the New Hanover Farm Bureau Federation’s Facebook page, to learn more.