WestFest 2018: Another successful event!

May 25, 2018

WestFest 2018: Another successful event!

A young child explores Arabidopsis with a magnifying glass at WestFest 2018

On Saturday, May 19th The Ohio State University's West Campus Quad came to life for the second annual WestFest! Rebranded to the West Campus Sustainability and Outreach Festival, but loving known as WestFest, this event is quickly becoming a celebration of science, sustainability, technology and outreach from Ohio State and the community. 

The Center for Applied Plant Sciences and Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center booth featured four different plant science activities. First, attendees could test their observation skills at our Investigation Station, 

A young person explores plants at WestFest 2018
where they were challenged to identify the subtle ways the mutations can alter the appearance of Arabidopsis plants or look for differences in the root system of soybeans grown in different conditions. Keeping in line with this year's WestFest theme, Climate, our second activity featured a demonstration of how our changing climate may affect plant systems. In the weeks leading up to the event, we subjected trays of Arabidopsis plants to various stressors associated with climate change, including salt stress, cold stress, drought, flooding and heat stress. Attendees could see how the plants responded to each growing condition and discuss how these factors may affect our food system in the future. Third, attendees learned what plants need to grow and be healthy (sun, carbon dioxide, water, soil and nutrients to name a few), and were invited to make a germination bag to observe a soybean as it begins to grow. Finally, were joined by Dr. Anna Dobritsa and members of her lab who presented a plethora of pollen activities related to her research. 
If you think that sounds like a lot to do - that was just one booth! This year's event featured twenty-two booths, a more than threefold increase from 2017's inaugural event. Representatives from across Ohio State were joined by a number of community partners, all presenting family-friend, hands-on activities. See the list of 2018 WestFest partners below. We are already looking forward to next year's event (date TBD)!


2018 WestFest Partners

  • Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center
  • Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center
  • Center for Applied Plant Sciences
  • Center for Automotive Research
  • Columbus Audubon
  • COSI
  • Department of Molecular Genetics & the Zebrafish Facility
  • Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW)
  • Labs in Life
  • OBIC Bioproducts Innovation Center
  • Office of Energy and Environment
  • Ohio 4-H
  • Ohio Energy Project
  • The Ohio State University Press
  • Orton Geological Museum
  • Museum of Biological Diversity
  • Department of Speech and Hearing Science 
  • Smart Columbus
  • Stone Laboratory & Ohio Sea Grant
  • OSU Wexner Medical Center Green Team
  • Wilma H. Schiermeier Olentangy River Wetland Research Park
  • Z-lab, Saygin Cognitive Neuroscience Lab


Staff at the Zebrafish facility booth at WestFest


    People explore the activities at the Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center booth at WestFest