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

Emily Stubbs, Nutrients for Life Foundation
202-515-2712, estubbs@nutrientsforlife.org 


DISCOVERY EDUCATION AND NUTRIENTS FOR LIFE FOUNDATION LAUNCH EXCLUSIVE NEW CONTENT FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL CLASSROOMS AS PART OF STANDARDS-BASED EARTH SCIENCE PROGRAM 

--“Let It Grow Contest” to Award Up to $10,000 in Agricultural Grants Nationwide; LIVE Virtual Field Trip to Connect STEM Concepts to Real-World Agricultural Careers--

SILVER SPRING, Md. (November 17, 2015) – The Nutrients for Life Foundation, an educational non-profit that educates students and the public about the vital role soil nutrients play in growing our world, and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, announced today new components of From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil. An interactive, multi-year engagement program, From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil offers middle school students, educators and families nationwide a comprehensive suite of digital resources designed to deepen students’ understanding of the importance of soil science and nutrients in today’s agricultural practices. 

The program’s first-ever Let It Grow Contest will award six middle schools across the country with agricultural grants and other classroom prizes. Open to educators and community adults nationwide, the Let It Grow Contest encourages entrants to visit http://www.thescienceofsoil.com/contests/3 to unlock the contest application by answering five soil-related questions, and vote daily for a middle school of their choice. One grand prize winning school will receive a $5,000 agricultural grant, half-day of professional development with a Nutrients for Life Foundation Regional Representative, an introduction to a local agronomist, Nutrients for Life Foundation prize pack and a celebratory winner assembly. Five runner-ups will each win a $1,000 agricultural grant and Nutrients for Life Foundation prize pack. The contest closes on March 7, 2016.

On Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 1pm EST, Discovery Education and the Nutrients for Life Foundation will host “Live From the Farm: From Soil to Store,” the second installation of the “Live From the Farm” virtual field trip series.  Broadcasting live from Hinton Farms in Dover, Fla., this virtual event will explore the important role that soil and nutrients play in producing our favorite fruits and vegetables. Offered at no cost, the virtual field trip will engage middle school students in STEM topics through a real-world look at the innovative technologies and scientific practices involved with fertigation, harvesting and planting. Students and educators may register and submit questions in advance to be answered live by a farmer and agronomist during the virtual event at www.thescienceofsoil.com/virtualfieldtrips.

“As an educator, I am thrilled to have this virtual field trip as a resource to engage my students in real-world STEM concepts and connect science to an essential part of life – food!” said Wendy Norton, Middle School STEM teacher, School District of Osceola County, Fla. “I am excited to enter my school in the Let It Grow Contest, and utilize other cutting-edge digital resources offered through this site to enrich my students’ STEM education.”

“Science and agriculture intersect every day in our lives from the food we eat to many of the clothes we wear,” said Nutrients for Life Foundation Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer. “The STEM-rich content breathes new life into soil science and fertilizer, and brings the content to students who may not otherwise have such an opportunity for learning.”

To support classrooms participating in the Let It Grow Contest and the virtual field trip, From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil offers middle school students, educators and families a suite of comprehensive 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 soil science plays in modern agricultural practices.

“Discovery Education is proud to continue our partnership with the Nutrients for Life Foundation to provide classrooms nationwide with dynamic, unique learning opportunities that connect STEM concepts to real-world, everyday examples,” said Lori McFarling, Senior Vice President, Discovery Education. “Through interactive digital resources and exciting opportunities such as the Let It Grow Contest, we are thrilled to provide powerful, engaging learning experiences that excite today’s students and empower educators to increase student achievement.”

To learn more about the new 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 for K-12, transforming teaching and learning with award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia content, professional development, 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, over 40 percent of all primary schools in 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
The 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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