Hannah H. Scherer

Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist Teaching and Learning

B.A., Geology with Physics Core Concentration, 2000, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota

Ph.D., Geological and Environmental Sciences, 2006, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

The primary purpose of my integrated research, teaching, and extension program is to build educator capacity for developing and facilitating educational programs that engage learners in authentic STEM learning in AFNR contexts. Through my scholarship, which is embedded in and supports my teaching and extension program, I seek to understand: What are effective methods and models for promoting, supporting, and facilitating authentic STEM teaching and learning in AFNR contexts? I approach this work from the position of a “boundary crosser;” someone who moves fluidly between the worlds of research and practice to affect change in both arenas through engaged scholarship. I am a member of constantly shifting and evolving communities of practice that are situated in the hard work of developing as educators and supporting learners. Specific areas of inquiry include:

  • Development and assessment of teaching methods to support systems thinking
  • Development and evaluation of student-centered STEM curricula
  • Models for STEM educator professional development
  • Effects of participating in agriscience research on conceptions of the nature of science


Current Grant Projects

CO-PD, USDA-NIFA Higher Education Challenge Grant Program (February 2017-January 2020)

  • Proposal title: Sustainability Scholars Program: Increasing Underrepresented Student Success Through Experiential Learning
  • Purpose: broadening participation of underrepresented groups within sustainability-focused academic programs through enhancement of experiential learning opportunities
  • Collaborators: Ervin, E. (PD), Ziegler, P. (co-PD), Friedel, C. (co-PD)
  • Total award amount: $139,604
  • Contribution: 30% effort

PD, USDA-NIFA Secondary, 2-Year Post-secondary and Ag in the Classroom Education Challenge Grant (September, 2016-2019)

  • Proposal Title: Building a Model Experiential-based Agricultural Food Safety Program for the 21st Century
  • Purpose: to develop a model program for enhancing community viability through connecting STEM education in agriculture, career exploration, and local workforce development
  • Collaborators: C. Dwayne Huff (co-PD, Carroll County High School), Jamie Edwards (co-PD, Wytheville Community College)
  • Total award amount: $135,560
  • Contribution: 50% effort

Refereed Journal Articles

Scherer, H. H., Holder, L., & Herbert, B. E. (in press). Student learning of complex Earth systems: Conceptual frameworks of Earth systems and instructional design. Journal of Geoscience Education.

Holder, L., Scherer, H. H., & Herbert, B. E. (in press). Student learning of complex Earth systems: A Model to Guide Development of Student Expertise in Problem Solving. Journal of Geoscience Education.

Wilk, A. A., Spindler, M., & Scherer, H. H. (2016). Scholar Development: A Conceptual Guide for Outreach and Teaching. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal, 60(4), 385-397.

Fortner, S., Scherer, H. H., & Murphy, M. (2016). Engaging undergraduates in soil sustainability decision-making through an InTeGrate module. Journal of Geoscience Education, 64(4), 259-269.


Referred Curricula

Fortner, S., Murphy, M. & Scherer, H. (2014, October 17). A Growing Concern: Sustaining soil resources through local decision making. InTeGrate. Retrieved from http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/teaching_materials/sustain_agriculture/index.html

Scherer, H. (2012, August 22). Metamorphic Rocks Lab. On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities Collection. Retrieved from http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/indoorlabs/examples/25071.html


Invited Conference Presentations

Fortner, S., Scherer, H., & Murphy, M. (2017, October). Helping Students Advocate for the Earth Using Integrate Modules. Oral Presentation at the National meeting of the Geological Society of America, Seattle, WA. 


Refereed Conference Papers

Scherer, H. H., McKim, A. J., Wang, H., DiBenedetto, C., & Robinson, K. (2017, May). Making Sense of the Buzz: Providing a Taxonomy of “STEM” in Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources Education. Paper presented at the National Meeting of the American Association for Agricultural Education, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Wilk, A. A., Spindler, M., & Scherer, H. (2016, May). Professional identity development in the Graduate Extension Scholars Program: Motivations for participation and outcomes of experience. Paper presented at the National Meeting of the American Association for Agricultural Education, Kansas City, MO.

Scherer, H. H. (2015). What does Ag-STEM mean for me? Perceptions of teachers and 4-H agents. A paper presented at the annual international conference of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Chicago, IL.


Conference Presentations

Holder, L., Scherer, H. H., & Herbert, B. E. (2017, July). Student learning of complex Earth systems: A model to guide development of student expertise in problem solving. Poster presented at the Earth Educators' Rendezvous, Albuquerque, NM.

Scherer, H. H., Holder, L., & Herbert, B. E. (2017). Conceptual Frameworks for Student Learning of Complex Earth Systems. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal, 61(Supplement 1), 35.

Scherer, H. H., Fortner, S., & Murphy, M. (2017). Engaging undergraduates in soil sustainability decision-making. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal, 61(Supplement 1), 9. 

Scherer, H. H., Brown, A., Steger, D., Edwards, J., Rasco, R., Huff, C. D., & Webb, R. (2017, June). Building a Model Experiential-based Agricultural Food Safety Program. Poster presented at the 63rd Annual conference of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. 

Hanselman, J., Scherer, H. H., Donovan, S., & Hale, A. (2016, July). Adapting geoscience materials for introductory biology courses using the Faculty Mentoring Network. Oral presentation at the Earth Educators' Rendezvous, Madison, WI.

Scherer, H. H., Wilk, A. A., & Spindler, M. (2015). Graduate Extension Scholars program: Strengthening cooperative linkages between land-grant universities, school-based agricultural education, and 4-H youth development. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal, 59(Supplement 1), 20.

Scherer, H., O’Rourke, M., Seman-Varner, R., & Ziegler, P. (2015, July). Interdisciplinary coteaching as a model for faculty development. Oral presentation at the Earth Educator’s Rendezvous, Boulder, CO.

Tussing, J. & Scherer, H. (2015, May). Integrating fundamentals of agriscience through 4-H record books. Poster presented at the National Meeting of the American Association for Agricultural Education, San Antonio, TX.

Silas M., Kaufman, E., & Scherer, H. H. (2015, February). Factors contributing to the lack of underrepresented students in agriculture. Poster presented at the Southern Region meeting of the American Association for Agricultural Education, Atlanta, GA.

Scherer, H. H. & Landis, R. (2014, May). Establishment of a new state agriscience research contest: a collaborative effort between FFA and 4-H. Poster presented at the National meeting of the American Association for Agricultural Education, Salt Lake City, UT.

Scherer, H. H., Vengrin, C. A., & Bond, M. A. (2013). Student conceptions of the nature of science: Implications for agricultural education. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal, 57(Supplement 1), 30.


Trade Publications

Scherer, H. (2015). Teaching Systems Thinking Web Page. Retrieved September 14, 2015, from http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/info_team_members/currdev/effective_materials/systems_think.html

Greaud, M., & Scherer, H. H. (2012, May/June). The big picture: IEPs, parents, teachers, and aides. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 84, 14-16.

My primary responsibilities as an Extension Specialist are to maintain and advance a focused program of STEM education in non-formal (4-H) and formal agricultural education settings. The primary clientele for my extension program are in-service educators who serve school-aged youth in agriculture-related programs. I also engage Virginia Tech undergraduate and graduate students through providing leadership and training for campus-based outreach initiatives.

Director, CALS Graduate Extension Scholars Program

The Graduate Extension Scholars (GES) program is an innovative professional development program for CALS graduate students. It connects graduate students with 4-H agents and secondary agriculture teachers to collaboratively design an educational program for youth based on the graduate student’s research. This model for promoting university engagement serves to connect Virginia youth with cutting-edge STEM research in AFNR.

Workshop Presentations by GES program participants:

Battaglia, M., Gryder, J., Herlihy, J., Huff, C. D., Mack, R., Hansotte, Y., Pent, G., Pugh, J., Wilk, A., & Scherer, H. H. (2015). New classroom and lab resources in agronomy, silvopasture, horticulture, and plant pathogens. Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators Annual Conference, Woodstock, VA. ~10 participants.

Weaver, A., McCann, Jr., E., Wiley, S. & Scherer, H. H. (2016). Parasite Management in Small Ruminants and Carcass Evaluation. Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators Annual Conference, Culpeper, VA. ~10 participants.

McKay, S., Beery, K., Wiley, S., & Scherer, H. H. (2016). Business Structures and Risk Management. Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators Annual Conference, Culpeper, VA. ~10 participants.

Barrowclough, M., Rhudy, M., Wiley, S., & Scherer, H. H. (2016). Understanding and Developing an Agribusiness. Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators Annual Conference, Culpeper, VA. ~10 participants

Superintendent, 4-H and FFA Agriscience Research Poster Contest, State Fair of VA (2013-present)

  • Secured funding for development and implementation of this new contest in 2013
  • Responsible for providing leadership for the contest, including development of judging rubrics and contest rules
  • Provide professional development opportunities for FFA advisors and 4-H agents to encourage participation in the contest

Superintendent, Virginia FFA Agriscience Fair Contest (2015-present)

  • Responsible for providing leadership for the contest, including recruiting and training judges
  • Provide professional development opportunities for FFA advisors to encourage participation in the contest

Selected Member, National FFA Agriscience Committee (April 2012 – 2015)

  • Responsible for providing leadership and coordination in directing the development and implementation of Agriscience program activities
  • Work with national, state, and local agricultural education leaders, students and industry representatives promoting agriscience education
  • Insure a high quality educational and recognition experience for students, chapters and teachers

Selected Workshops and Webinars Presented

Scherer, H. H. & Nealis, C. (2017). Youth STEM programs in Virginia: Showcasing successes and moving forward. Virginia Cooperative Extension Professional Development Web-conference. 33 participants.

Westfall-Rudd, D., Scherer, H. H., & Monk, B. (2017). Agricultural Education Early Career Teachers' Conference. Staunton, VA. 20 participants.

Scherer, H. H., Prysby, M., Jaja, N., & McCullough, K. (2016). Inquiry Learning: Fundamentals of youth-driven scientific investigations for 4-H programming. Skelton 4-H Center at Smith Mt. Lake. 13 participants.

Scherer H. H., Norris, A., & Burns, A. (2015). 4-H Science Common Measures: Challenges and Opportunities. Webinar presented to the Positive Youth Development Evaluation Community of Practice. 10 participants. (Invited)

Westfall-Rudd, D., Scherer, H. H., & Woodward, L. (2015). Agricultural Education Early Career Teachers' Conference. Staunton, VA. 14 participants.

Scherer, H. H. (2015). STEM background workshop for FFA State Officer Training Week. Blacksburg, VA. 6 participants.

Westfall-Rudd, D., Scherer, H. H., & Woodward, L. (2014). Agricultural Education Early Career Teachers' Conference. Staunton, VA. 11 participants.

Scherer, H. H. & Stair, K. (2014). I Wasn’t Trained for This! Strategies for working with students with special needs. National Association of Agricultural Educators Annual Conference, Nashville, TN. 25 participants. (Invited).

Scherer, H. H. (2014). Experimenting with Scientific Ideas – The Agriscience Fair. Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators Annual Conference, Staunton, VA. 12 participants.

Scherer, H. H. & Landis, R. (2014). Supervising student agriscience research projects. Professional development workshop for FFA Advisors/ 4-H Advisors in conjunction with Virginia youth livestock and professional development events. 40 participants.

Scherer, H. H. (2014). Virginia 4-H and FFA Agriscience Research Poster Contest: Overview and resources for 4-H Agents. Virginia Cooperative Extension Professional Development Conference, Blacksburg, VA. 15 participants.

Scherer, H. H. & Landis, R. (2013). Supervising student agriscience research projects. Professional development workshops for FFA Advisors in conjunction with VT/ VSU Fall Leadership Conference. 14 participants.

Scherer, H. H. & Ulmer, A. (2013). Integrating applied science techniques into classroom instruction. Virginia Association of Agricultural Educators Annual Conference, Abingdon, VA. 15 participants.

 

 

ALCE 4244: Teaching and Training Methods in Agricultural and Life Sciences

  • Survey of strategies for design, implementation, and evaluation of instruction and training practices in agricultural and life sciences.
  • Offered every Spring Semester; enrollment ~10 students
  • Lead instructor; co-taught with faculty in ALCE

ALCE 5054: STEM Integration in Agricultural Education

  • Contemporary methods, strategies, and justification for incorporation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts and practices into secondary agricultural education programs. Use of best practices for STEM teaching and learning and enhancement of STEM content in existing agriculture courses.
  • Offered online every Spring Semester; enrollment ~10 students

ALCE 5984: SS: Systems Thinking in AFNR Educational Contexts

  • Foundational complex systems ideas (such as emergence, feedbacks, resilience, and self-organization) and theoretical perspectives as they apply to socio-ecological systems encountered in AFNR; approaches to teaching systems thinking in formal and non-formal educational contexts; and current challenges in assessment of systems thinking ability and evaluation of educational interventions aimed at developing systems thinking ability.
  • Offered alternate Fall Semesters beginning in 2017; enrollment ~7 students

AEE 4754/ 5754: Internship in Agricultural and Extension Education

  • Agriculture student teaching experience
  • Supervise ~3 interns every Spring Semester

ALS 5324: Research Ethics in Agriculture and Life Sciences

  • Professional development course open to graduate students across the college
  • Offered every Fall Semester; enrollment ~30 students
Hannah Scherer
  • (540) 231-1759
  • hscherer@vt.edu
  • 270 Litton-Reaves Hall
    Mail Code 0343
    Blacksburg, VA
    24061
  • Fax: (540) 231-3824