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Teach the Teachers: The Florida Experience
Monica Elliott: University of Florida
<div><span>During summer 2016, seven of the University of Florida-IFAS research and education centers located across the state served as hosts for a Plant Pathology Teachers Workshop, using themes from APS: “Healthy Plants=Healthy World” and “Don’t Get Caught With Your Plants Down”). The target audience was middle school and high school teachers and 83 people participated. Hard copies of all materials were provided, but the materials were also available, and continue to be available, on-line at <a href=""></a></span><span>. Much of the material used was obtained from APS resources. The overall increase in plant pathology knowledge was 50%, and the overall evaluation for the workshop was 4.5, on a 5-point scale with 1=low and 5=high. Of particular note was the general view that the concepts would not be easy to incorporate into their current science curriculum, but the teachers enjoyed gaining new knowledge. Hands-on activities were included, and teachers stated these were an important aspect of the workshop, especially if designed so teachers can use them in the classroom. However, the main challenge public school teachers face in Florida is the restriction on using microbes in the classroom. There are even restrictions on flowering plants and foods that could be used for experiments. The workshop was also useful as a tool to engage graduate students in teaching and outreach.</span><p> </div>

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