Studying Entrepreneurial, Place-Based Curriculum Success in Nicaragua


This photo was taken on the return trip from the Center for Agroforestry and Environmental Education in Wawashang, Nicaragua. Photo credit: Henry Quesada-Pineda for InnovATE

You have to take a boat to get to the remote 300-hectare farm in Wawashang, Nicaragua where the agroforestry education and training centers of the Foundation for the Autonomy and Development of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (FADCANIC) are located. But the rural location is part of what makes the programs unique, according to John Ignosh, area extension specialist and member of Virginia Tech’s biological systems engineering department. With funding from the Feed the Future project, Innovation for Agricultural Training and Education (InnovATE), Ignosh and Virginia Tech’s Henry Quesada-Pineda, associate professor in the sustainable biomaterials department, visited FADCANIC in October to study its highly successful entrepreneurial, place-based agroforestry and agricultural curricula.

Quesada-Pineda was a member of a 2014 InnovATE scoping team that assessed the agricultural education and training systems in Nicaragua. One recommendation of the assessment was to develop a case study on successful vocational programs for entrepreneurship to address youth unemployment in the Atlantic Coast region. FADCANIC’s successful agroforestry programs were the perfect subject for the case study. Continue reading >

InnovATE Leads Place-Based STEM Education Workshop in Malawi

Malawi STEM EducationWorkshop

Dr. George Glasson, far left, explains an active learning exercise.

September 28-30, 2015 InnovATE led a workshop in partnership with Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and USAID/Malawi on place-based science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education for university professors, administrators, and ministry officials in Lilongwe, Malawi. The workshop promoted the development of a STEM Education Certificate for secondary school agriculture and science teachers.

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AIAEE Annual Conference

April 27-May 1, Wageningen University, Netherlands

The theme of the Association for International Agricultural Extension Education’s 2015 annual conference is Competence and Excellence in Extension and Education. This 4-day conference will combine abstract presentations, professional development seminars, and two keynote speakers. Participants will have the option of tours of the Netherlands on the final day. Posters have also been accepted for display, to create a forum for the exchange of best practices and research findings in the pursuit of educational excellence.

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Transformative Teaching Workshop in Nepal

AFU-innovATE-workshop-Hetauda-4-15-HammettInnovATE and the Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU) teamed up to organize and conduct a workshop with support from WINROCK’s Farmer-to-Farmer Program, Principia College, Virginia Tech, and iDE Nepal. Agriculture and natural resource faculty from several institutions across Nepal gathered to learn transformative teaching skills and identify the current issues impacting Nepal’s agriculture and natural resource sectors. Continue reading >

US-Africa Higher Education Partnerships Symposium

March 24-25 2015, University of Florida

InnovATE hosted a symposium at the University of Florida in Gainesville that was centered on preparing successful students, faculty and institutions. Speakers from USAID, Higher Education for Development, World Bank, and various Universities both domestic and in Africa contributed to panels on these three areas, as well as a panel specifically on ensuring re-entry success for African faculty studying in the U.S. Continue reading >