July 2015

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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T he Sports Turf Managers Association (STMA) has developed a Turfgrass Science Curriculum. The goal of the curriculum is to build a solid foundation in the science and practices of turfgrass management so students can successfully care for a turfgrass surface. The curriculum introduces students to the many benefits turfgrass provides, career opportunities available in the turfgrass industry, and the sci- ence behind turfgrass management. Two versions of the curriculum have been developed. The first version is designed for secondary agriculture education programs. The curriculum provides agriculture instructors with les- sons to teach secondary students about the turfgrass industry. It was developed so it could be easily implemented in the classroom regardless of teacher experience and background. Each unit includes complete lesson plans, PowerPoint presentations, worksheets, individual and class projects, quizzes, and hands-on learning labs (indoor and outdoor). The curriculum was devel- oped to provide agriculture educators with lessons that could supplement any secondary plant science curriculum. The units can be used to enhance the plant science curriculum or replace other units in the plant science cur- riculum. The units should be used as a whole in the order they are presented to provide the most benefit to learn- ers. The content builds on information learned in each unit and culminates in a final project. In addition, the curricu- lum meets the requirements set forth by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and can easily be adjusted to meet the requirements of other states' Departments of Education. The second version of the Turfgrass Science curriculum has been developed as an online course. The online tool provides self-paced learning opportu- nities that can be utilized as a refresher or for training individuals new to the turfgrass industry. Agriculture instruc- tors, sports field crew members, parks and recreation employees, and others new to turfgrass science will benefit from the online curriculum. Unit 1 provides introductory infor- mation on careers in the turfgrass industry and community, economic, and environmental benefits of turf- grass. Unit 2 introduces students to turfgrass plant growth and devel- opment, anatomical features, and identification of different turfgrass species. Adaptations of turfgrass spe- cies are also covered. Unit 3 assumes students already have a basic under- standing of soil science and provides more in-depth information on soil requirements for successful turfgrass growth. Unit 4 addresses all of the major cultural practices necessary for healthy turfgrass growth, including mowing, fertilization, irrigation, aera- tion, topdressing, and pest control. Unit 5 ties all previous information together with turfgrass establishment. Successful establishment cannot take place with- out a firm understanding of turfgrass species and adaptations, soil require- ments, and essential cultural practices. CURRICULUM IN THE AGRICULTURE CLASSROOM If implementing the curriculum in a secondary agriculture education pro- gram, all of the instructional materials are provided for each lesson. To help achieve the goal of practical application, each lesson is set up for students to learn foundational information, participate in an activity, and review the material. The total length of the curriculum is 27 days, but can easily be lengthened with the use of optional activities. Lesson material is provided in the form of lecture, question and answer, and discussion. Students are encouraged to interact, collaborate, and discuss the 30 SportsTurf | July 2015 STMA DEVELOPS TURFGRASS SCIENCE CURRICULUM FACILITY & OPERATIONS ■ BY KRISTEN ALTHOUSE Curriculum Overview The curriculum and associated les- sons are set up to provide basic knowledge in the core areas of turf- grass science. The curriculum is made up of 5 units: Introduction to Turfgrass Science Turfgrass Growth and Development, Anatomy, and Identification Turfgrass Soils Turfgrass Cultural Practices Turfgrass Establishment IMAGE ©ISTOCKPHOTO/BOBBIEO

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