World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute: Meeting today’s educational standards and practices
A variety of educational standards and practices are met by participating in the World Food Prize Michigan Youth Institute (WFPMIYI).
Working towards a common goal to provide a sustainable and secure global food supply, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension’s World Food Prize MI Youth Institute (WFPMIYI) bridges interests across English language arts, social studies, culture, economics, STEM, health, and nutrition, as well as agriculture, natural resources, and conservation. The WFPMIYI provides learning opportunities and interactions that are interdisciplinary and foster life and employability skills. There are a variety of educational standards and practices that are met by participating in WFPMIYI, no matter what setting program participants are in – making the program a resource for schools, home school families, career and technical education, 4-H programming and more.
The national Common Career Technical Core Career Ready Practices, originally created in support of career and technical education, are applicable to all students and young people. WFPMIYI supports ten of the twelve practices, including:
- Act as a responsible and contributing citizen and employee.
- Apply appropriate academic and technical skills.
- Communicate clearly and effectively and with reason.
- Consider the environmental, social, and economic impacts of decisions.
- Employ valid and reliable research strategies.
- Utilize critical thinking to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
- Model integrity, ethical leadership, and effective management.
- Plan education and career paths aligned to personal goals.
- Use technology to enhance productivity.
- Work productively in teams while using cultural global competence.
WFPMIYI brings participants, youth development staff members, and MSU faculty and staff together that are doing research, have studied, and are engaged in the work of food sustainability and global issues. Participants make career connections and find networking opportunities throughout the event. Whether participants have interests in agriculture, food and natural resources, arts and communications, health science, human services, or science and technology, the WFPMIYI provides a venue to learn and hear about many workforce opportunities related to Michigan’s 17 career clusters, as well as global jobs and careers.
Communication skills are one of the most sought-after employability skills that employers look for in their employees. This is reiterated in both the Common Career Technical Core Career Ready Practices and in the picture collage provided (see photo). The word art image in the background of the photos was created from communication skills identified by our youth delegates.
Additional comments shared by program youth delegates include:
- “I plan to take a student job opportunity with one of the professors I met at World Food Prize looking more into Nematology as a career.”
- “I plan to work extremely hard throughout my life to be an advocate for food security issues around the world & in my own community. I also would absolutely love to continue my research & continue to grow my ideas.”
- “I thought my thinking changed the most when I realized just how big this project was, and how small I felt compared to the scope of the world. Listening to my peers showed me just how important these solutions are to solving problems all over the world.”
- “I had to present my findings to the group, I asked questions and engaged with my immersion leader, I talked with my peers and socialized at the lunch.”
- “I learned how to expand my thinking, and form educated questions.”
- “I learned more about the interconnected aspect of many world issues, and therefore the solutions will need to be just as complex and interconnected. It helped me to see the bigger picture. I also learned how to be a better public speaker by making mistakes and watching others do it better.”
For a copy of the standards and practices that are met through participation in the WFPMIYI, or for other related questions, contact either of the Michigan Youth Institute directors: Brian Wibby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 906-251-1417, or Deb Barrett at email@example.com or 269-240-1986. You may also visit the WFPMIYI website.
Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development helps to prepare young people for successful futures. For more information or resources on career exploration, workforce preparation, financial education, or entrepreneurship, email us at 4-HCareerPrep@anr.msu.edu.