Pamela Hall, a STEM teacher at Carrollton Elementary School in Isle of Wight County, was one of eight teachers nationwide selected as 2020 National Excellence in Teaching About Agriculture Award recipients.
The National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Farm Credit partner each year to honor teachers in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade for the innovative ways they use agricultural concepts to teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, STEM, STEAM and more.
Hall previously was named Virginia Agriculture in the Classroom 2020 Teacher of the Year. Her mission is to integrate agriculture into the classroom all year long. She uses hands-on approaches, including studying plant and animal life cycles, taking farm nature walks, visiting with farmers, making ice cream, investigating and raising pollinators, and experimenting with hydroponics.
“Pam is a vivacious teacher who shares her love of learning about agriculture with her students,” said Tammy Maxey, Virginia AITC program director and national AITC president. “Her passion for learning about the source of food and fiber has had a tremendous impact on her entire school. Pam sets the example for her students continually through her STEM program about the importance of agriculture to our daily lives.”
The national awards were bestowed virtually in June using Facebook Live because the 2020 National Agriculture in the Classroom Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, where they were to be recognized, was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To watch videos summarizing these teachers’ agricultural literacy classroom accomplishments, visit https://agclassroom.org/teacher_award/20.cfm.
Hall enjoys creating projects that leave an impression. When her students expressed an interest in bees, she began researching them. She then modeled a bee’s life cycle and invited an expert from the Tidewater Beekeepers Association to visit with her students. For an immersive experience, she took students to a farm to don beekeeper suits and conduct a hive inspection.
In addition to using AITC lesson plans for years and participating in Virginia AITC’s grant program, she also has received grants from National Agriculture in the Classroom Organization for her hydroponics lessons.
“She is making an impact on tomorrow’s decision makers, agriculture producers and consumers,” Maxey said.