Elizabethton High educators embrace future of farming with virtual reality

Published 9:09 am Thursday, March 28, 2024

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Elizabethton High School is stepping into the future of agricultural education as teachers Jerry Agan and Ellie Phillips join the exciting new Agriscience Metaverse Academy (AMA) through a joint effort of the University of Tennessee and the University of Nebraska. This innovative program is a game-changer, blending traditional farming lessons with the latest virtual reality (VR) technology.

The AMA is a unique opportunity funded by a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Grant aimed at revolutionizing how agriculture is taught. Through VR, teachers and students can dive into farming experiences without leaving the classroom. It’s about making learning more interactive, engaging, and, frankly, more fun.

Jerry Agan, one of the selected teachers, shared his enthusiasm: “Being selected for the Agriscience Metaverse Academy is a thrilling opportunity to bring cutting-edge technology to our students. It’s about preparing them for a future where innovation is at the heart of agriculture.”

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For Elizabethton High students, this means their agriculture classes are about to get a lot more interesting. Imagine exploring a virtual farm, understanding crop cycles, or even dissecting plant structures, all through a VR headset. It’s hands-on learning without the dirt under your fingernails. 

Agan and Phillips will undergo specialized training to bring these experiences back to their classrooms. They’ll receive VR kits, including headsets and cameras valued at over $14,000, turning their classrooms into high-tech learning hubs.

This initiative is not just about embracing new tech; it’s about giving Elizabethton students a head start in the evolving world of agriculture. As these students learn about farming through 

VR, they’re just not preparing for their next test; they’re gearing up for the future of the industry.

Integrating technology in the agriculture classroom is a step into the future, right here in our hometown, ensuring Elizabethton High School remains at the forefront of innovative education.

FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. 

To find out more about agricultural education at Elizabethton High School, follow them on Instagram and Facebook.