Regina Hitchcock, Southwest Gardener and STEM Educator – Biographies – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Regina Hitchcock, Southwest Gardener and STEM Educator

Residence: St. Johns, Arizona

Background: Regina is a high school biology teacher in St. Johns, Arizona. She has been gardening in Northeastern Arizona for more than 30 years, writing about her experience gardening articles about her experiences there. Regina co-founded the Gardeners with Altitude organic garden club since 2008, where she serves as President aside for a brief time when another couple shouldered the responsibility to allow her time to finish her Master’s Degree and begin working full-time as a teacher.

Regina designed a middle school agriculture program for Round Valley Middle School in 2012, using it for five years to teach students the basics of gardening, including organic versus conventional gardening methods, composting, harvesting, disease and pest identification on plants, and much more.

Since 2016, Regina has worked for St. Johns High School where she developed an active Agriculture program and pursued grants to cover STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) topics, including for gardening, aquaponics, aeroponics, hydroponics, and seed starting. Regina sponsored the first-ever St. Johns High School Agriculture Club and developed two agricultural science classes to teach students about gardening.

In her spare time, Regina serves as the secretary for the White Mountain Community Cooperative, a group of like-minded individuals whose goal is to help people in the White Mountain community of Northeastern Arizona to become food- and economically secure by developing a large knowledge body of self-sufficiency methods. Part of the program includes running a large community greenhouse where aquaponics and hydroponics systems are used to produce fruits, vegetables, and herbs for member use as well as for sale to the community.

Current projects: If she doesn’t sound busy enough, Regina is also involved with the Navapache STEM Connection nonprofit as Treasurer. In this group, educators in Navajo and Apache counties in Arizona get together and work to increase STEM understanding for students and teachers through community outreach, a large annual STEM fair called Innovation Nation. Their efforts have reached more than 20,000 people in the last 9 years. Tying science, technology, and engineering to agriculture is a main passion of Regina’s and she seeks to spread that passion to as many people as she can.

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