BTI Education and Outreach programs are nationally recognized for providing innovative learning, teaching and research opportunities in the plant sciences. Led by Director of Education and Outreach Tiffany Fleming, the program provides resources and guidance for teaching about current plant research and mentors students and teachers in the newest advances in plant genomics. In 2014, BTI teacher education programs focused on sustainability, using topics such as affordable biomass-based energy and improving the productivity and nutritional value of crops. With the strong involvement of BTI scientists, the Education and Outreach program continues to inspire a new generation of plant scientists and prepare them for innovative research careers.
The Bioenergy and Bioproducts Education Program (BBEP) and Curriculum Development Projects in Plant Biology (CDP) introduced 295 science teachers to plant genomics and biomass-to-bioenergy research in 2014 through a series of summer institutes, conferences, classroom visits, tours and workshops.
BTI educators visited pilot classrooms across New York state—from Rochester to Pulaski and Ithaca to Castleton-on-Hudson—to serve as scientific advisors and to assist with new curriculum development. Beyond New York state, seven universities partnered with BTI’s Education team, using a $5 million grant from the USDA, to implement the BBEP Institute across the U.S.