What is AgOvation?
AgOvation is a research-based competition that challenges youth to explore and develop innovative science-based solutions to agricultural problems that they identify in their own communities. Youth in grades 7 through 12 work in teams of two to five members to develop a project and create a presentation to share their results, findings and/or created solution/product.
Youth work with a team coach and mentor from the agriculture related field that most closely relates to their project. Youth are also encouraged to connect with representatives from Iowa State University and the agribusiness community, who are eager to meet and work with the next generation of leaders in agriculture and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
The top three teams are awarded scholarships for post-secondary education.
Why is AgOvation Important?
Agriculture and biosciences are critical to finding solutions to key challenges facing the United States, including economic growth, food security, human health and environmental sustainability. AgOvation helps develop our future workforce of agricultural scientists, engineers and technologists. Participants gain important life skills which empower them to become productive citizens, outstanding communicators, effective leaders and successful learners.
What are the Topics?
The topics mirror the Pillars of Agricultural Literacy, which connect agriculture to crucial topics in society.
- The relationship between agriculture and animals.
- The relationship between agriculture and lifestyle.
- The relationship between agriculture and the economy.
- The relationship between agriculture and food, fiber and energy.
- The relationship between agriculture and the environment.
- The relationship between agriculture and technology.
November 23, 2020 - March 1, 2021: Registration of teams
Teams work with their county staff to register for the program.
December 7, 2020: Informational webinar for staff
Staff may join this webinar to learn about the AgOvation program, ask questions, and get guidance on recruiting and supporting teams. Webinar will be recorded for later viewing.
January 11, 2021: Follow-up webinar for staff
Staff may join this webinar to ask follow-up questions about the program, get assistance with recruitment and learn about any updates to the program. Webinar will be recorded for later viewing.
February 24, 2021 at 7pm: AgOvation Q&A session
Anyone who wants to learn more about AgOvation can (youth, coaches, 4-H staff) can attend this webinar to help them get started. Program leaders will share tips for getting started, materials for project planning, and expectations for participation. Sign up for the session using the online form.
March 15, 2021: Check-in for teams
Teams can attend this webinar to learn more details about the next steps in their project. Time will be spent on how to find mentors, how to use the scientific and engineering processes in their projects, and what next steps they need to take. Teams will have time to work on their groups and get feedback from program leaders.
May 14, 2021: Check-in for teams
Teams can attend this webinar to review what needs to be included in their presentation as well as tips and best practices for presenting.
June 15, 2021: Practice Presentations Due
Teams must submit a recorded practice presentation for review. They will receive feedback and advice to prepare for the final event.
August 2021: Final Event
Youth will present their final solutions to a panel of expert judges at the 4-H Building at the Iowa State Fair. Winners will be selected and awards given.
For more information, contact Maya Hayslett, email@example.com. Youth should contact their local county extension office if they are interested in participating.