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Alycia Chanin, Discovery Education
240-662-3056, alycia_chanin@discovery.com   

Tiffany Ballow, Nutrients for Life Foundation
202-802-0378, tballow@nutrientsforlife.org


DISCOVERY EDUCATION AND NUTRIENTS FOR LIFE FOUNDATION INVITE MIDDLE SCHOOLS NATIONWIDE TO ENTER THE 2016-2017 “LET IT GROW CONTEST” AS PART OF STANDARDS-BASED EARTH SCIENCE PROGRAM

SILVER SPRING, Md. (September 28, 2016) – The Nutrients for Life Foundation, an educational non-profit that teaches students and the public about the vital role soil nutrients play in feeding our world, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, today announced the launch of the 2016-2017 “Let it Grow Contest.” Returning a second year, this contest is part of the multi-year engagement program, From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil, which offers middle school students, educators and families nationwide a comprehensive suite of standards-aligned digital resources designed to deepen students’ understanding of the importance of soil science and nutrients in today’s agricultural practices.

The 2016-2017 Let It Grow Contest will award six schools nationwide that include grades 6-8 with agricultural grants. Open to educators and community adults nationwide, the Let It Grow Contest encourages entrants to visit http://www.thescienceofsoil.com/contest  to unlock the contest application by answering five soil-related questions, and vote daily for a school of their choice. One grand prize winning school will receive a $5,000 agricultural grant and introduction to a local agronomist and five runner-ups will each win a $1,000 agricultural grant. Runner-up schools will then submit a video explaining how they plan to utilize the grant prize, and a panel of judges will select one to receive a celebratory in-school winner assembly. The contest closes on March 14, 2017.

“I am excited to enter my school in the Let It Grow Contest, and look forward to incorporating digital resources offered through From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil into my classroom instruction,” said Cheryl Lykowski, Teacher, Bedford Public Schools, Michigan. “This learning opportunity will connect classroom concepts to real-world examples and showcase the relevance of science in our everyday lives.”

To support classrooms participating in the contest, From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil offers middle school students, educators and families an array of digital resources including standards-aligned interactive lesson plans, digital explorations, bilingual family activities and agricultural career profiles. Designed to engage students of all learning styles, these resources provide students with a rich understanding of the connection between soil and the food that they eat, and the important role science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) plays in modern agricultural practices.

“Hands-on learning is critical to students’ understanding of key concepts, and soil science certainly has many real world applications,” said Nutrients for Life Foundation Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer. “Through our partnership with Discovery Education, these grants will enable classrooms to take their practical knowledge of plant nutrition needs to the next level.”

“Discovery Education is proud to continue our partnership with the Nutrients for Life Foundation and salutes the organization’s leadership in STEM education and commitment to introducing students to careers of tomorrow,” said Lori McFarling, senior vice president, Discovery Education. “From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil is an award-winning program that brings STEM to life through cutting-edge, interactive curriculum and resources that engage today’s learners and empower educators to increase student achievement.”

To learn more about the program or to access the free resources, please visit: http://www.thescienceofsoil.com/.

About Discovery Education
Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-based digital content and professional development for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content that supports the implementation of Common Core, professional development, assessment tools, and the largest professional learning community of its kind. Serving 3 million educators and over 30 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 percent of all primary schools the UK, and more than 50 countries. Discovery Education partners with districts, states and like-minded organizations to captivate students, empower teachers, and transform classrooms with customized solutions that increase academic achievement. Discovery Education is powered by Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK), the number one nonfiction media company in the world. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

About Nutrients for Life
T
he Nutrients for Life Foundation spearheads the mission to educate students and the public about the importance of responsible fertilizer use in growing healthy crops, increasing food production, and feeding a growing population. Since formation ten years ago, the Foundation has reached over 11 million students with resources such as Nourishing the Planet in the 21st Century, the Smithsonian approved, STEM curriculum. Nutrients for Life’s 2013 partnership with Discovery Education has added a new dimension of innovative, interactive digital resources for the modern classroom. The Nutrients for Life Foundation is a tax-exempt status organization described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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