University’s TAPS Program Coming Soon to High School Classrooms
In summer 2021, a group of agricultural education teachers decided to see how well the farm management concepts they were teaching in their classes translated to real life.
The instructors, who all teach at school districts in Educational Service Unit 16, divided into two teams and signed up to participate in the annual Testing Ag Performance Solutions program — TAPS for short — at the West Central Research, Extension and Education Center in North Platte.
The teachers’ main takeaway from the program, though, was how beneficial it could be to their students.
So this summer, the teachers returned to West Central, not to participate in the TAPS program, but to build a curriculum for high school ag-ed classes around it in collaboration with center faculty and staff.
It wasn’t an easy process, said ESU 16 Administrator Deb Paulman. Agriculture is complex, and so are the precision agricultural tools that participants in the TAPS program use to aid in decision-making. The teachers wanted to empower students to make decisions without overwhelming them with information. At the same time, the complexity is part of the magic of TAPS — and of agriculture in general, she said.
To learn more how the new TAPS high school program was built and when it will be available for Nebraska students, read this article on UNL Newsroom.