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Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education

Harriet Wegmeyer, Nutrients for Life

–St. Mary’s School of the Diocese of Omaha in Bellevue, NE Wins Grand Prize;

Special In-School Assembly To be Held On May 24, 2017 —

–Five Middle Schools Receive Grants and Prizes as Winners of National Earth Science Contest–

SILVER SPRING, Md. (May 11, 2017) – Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, and the Nutrients for Life Foundation, an educational non-profit that teaches students and the public about the vital role soil nutrients play in growing our world, announced the winners of the 2017 Let It Grow Contest today. The contest, now in its second year, awards more than $10,000 in prizes to six middle schools nationwide as part of From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil, an education initiative that offers middle school students a broadened perspective of the importance of soil science. Educators, parents and community members were invited to enter the Let It Grow Contest by answering soil-related questions and voting daily for a middle school of their choice.

Out of more than 40,000 entries nationwide, St. Mary’s School of Bellevue, NE received the votes needed to take home the 2017 grand prize.

“It is incredible to have St. Mary’s School named the grand prize winner of the Let It Grow Contest,” said Dr. Trish Wallinger, Principal, St. Mary’s School. “From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil has allowed our classrooms to dig into the science all around us with fun activities. I would absolutely encourage middle school educators across the country to include these resources into their classroom instruction to explore the role agriculture plays in providing nutrition and sustenance to our communities.”

In addition to St. Mary’s School, five runner-up schools will each receive a $1,000 agricultural grant. These schools include:

  • Hawley Middle School in Hawley, TX
  • Central Middle School in Eunice, LA
  • Academy for Change in Chino, CA
  • Sunrise School in Monroeville, PA
  • Blacklick Valley Junior Senior High School in Nanty Glo, PA


On Wednesday, May 24, 2017, Discovery Education and the Nutrients for Life Foundation will host the Let It Grow Contest grand prize winner assembly at St. Mary’s School featuring interactive science activities for students, educators and community members to experience. Following the assembly, the school will be presented with a check. Additionally, St. Mary’s School will receive an introduction to a local agronomist as part of their grand prize.

“Learning about crop nutrients and their vital role in food production is something these students will take with they as they grow. Through our partnership with Discovery Education, we are able to make these concepts of plant growth and soil health come alive,” said Nutrients for Life Executive Director Harriet Wegmeyer. “We are pleased to see so many students, educators and community members using these resources and learning!”

Launched in 2013, 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 highlight the importance of soil, its nutrients and the science behind sustainable plant and crop growth, these resources are available at no cost and engage students of all learning styles.

“Discovery Education is proud to continue our partnership with the Nutrients for Life Foundation and salutes the winners of this contest which is part of a larger effort to give students a deeper understanding of core science concepts as they discover the complex world of soils,” 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 interactive curriculum and resources that engage today’s learners.”

To learn more about From the Ground Up: The Science of Soil’s free resources and the Let It Grow Contest please visit:

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 4.5 million educators and over 50 million students, Discovery Education’s services are in half of U.S. classrooms, 50 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

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 more than ten years ago, the Foundation has reached over 24 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.