Society faces a multitude of challenges in the 21st century, including but not limited to issues of sustainable development, climate change, energy, advancing scientific discovery, and education. As natural resource consumption and human populations continue to rise, and the negative impacts of our dependence on fossil fuels become clearer, it is important that we take action and seek solutions to these complex challenges. Plants are the foundation of all life on earth, and as such, will be key players in helping to solve some of the issues facing humanity. From serving as the foundation of our food system, to contributing to biotechnology solutions for global challenges, the importance of plants is undeniable. Yet, plants are often overlooked and taken for granted.
The Center for Applied Plant Sciences has partnered with the Center of Science and Industry (COSI) to create a suite of education resources for middle and high school students, as well as the general public. As a part of this initiative, we are creating a set of four short, educational videos highlighting various aspects of plant science.
The first video, Careers in Plant Sciences, provides an overview of some of the career opportunities that exist within plant sciences. This video includes interviews with staff, faculty and students and a behind the scenes look at some of the plant science facilities at The Ohio State University.
Other videos in this series showcase plants and their role in our food system, in the production of biofuels and bioproducts, and as solutions to complex global challenges.
CAPS and COSI also worked together to create Plant Solutions for Global Problems, an interactive videoconferencing program for middle and high school students that focuses on plant sciences. Using online software, this program brings together students from across the country to interact with a PhD fellow from the Translational Plant Sciences graduate program at The Ohio State University and a COSI educator. Program topics include careers in plant sciences, the role of plants in the food system, bioproducts, and plant/microbe interactions. Each participating classroom receives a kit of materials prior to the program. Each kit includes lesson plans for pre/post activities related to food waste, food loss, plant growth in varying conditions, and genetic engineering. Kits include all of the materials necessary for a class of 30 students to complete all of the experiments and activities.
Thanks to funding from the American Society of Plant Biologists, COSI is offering a limited number of scholarships for free programming. Visit COSI's website for more information about this opportunity and to apply for a scholarship for your class.
Watch the short video below for a short overview of this new program.
This project was made possible with funding from a Plant BLOOME grant (PI: Dr. Erich Grotewold) from the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB).
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