GCSAA, ASTMA bring First Green STEM education to Australia

The associations have joined forces to introduce more students to careers in STEM and the golf industry.


First Green field trip

The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Australian Sports Turf Managers Association (ASTMA) are partnering to have ASTMA exclusively present GCSAA’s First Green STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education program in Australia. Founded in 1997, First Green is the only STEM education and environmental outreach program using golf courses as learning labs.

First Green curriculum helps students apply their classroom knowledge in an outdoor setting. Using STEM concepts connected to golf course management and conservation, students find new inspiration in their schoolwork and learn about the possibility of a career in golf or a STEM-related field. Since its inception, First Green has reached students in the United States and Canada through learning labs that bring the classroom to life on the golf course. First Green also gives students a first-hand look at the important role superintendents (or turf managers as they are known in Australia) play in their communities.

“For many First Green students, this is not only the first time they are seeing golf course management as a potential career path, but it’s also showing them the commitment that golf course management professionals dedicate to environmental stewardship,” Rhett Evans, GCSAA Chief Executive Officer said. “We have a long history of collaboration with our friends at ASTMA, and we are excited to help them bring First Green’s STEM education to the students of Australia.”

As part of the agreement, ASTMA will work closely with GCSAA to adapt the program for Australian schools, golf courses and facilities, and the program will be launched in Australia in the coming months, in addition to tailoring concepts to be used at Australian sports fields and grounds.

"We are thrilled to be bringing the First Green to Australia," said Mark Unwin, chief executive officer of the Australian Sports Turf Managers Association. "This program will provide a unique opportunity for Australian students to engage in hands-on, experiential learning that demonstrates the real-world application of STEM concepts.”

First Green field trips have been held across the U.S. and Canada, and more than 21,000 North American students have participated. In addition, in January GCSAA announced a partnership with the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) to bring First Green to the UK.

“We’ve truly gone global,” Evans said. “It’s so rewarding to know that students on three continents will get the chance to learn more about STEM and golf through First Green.”

To learn more about the GCSAA First Green, visit www.thefirstgreen.org.