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Teacher Programs Put Plant Research and Resources in Area Classrooms

Teacher ProgramsProfessional development for teachers in plant science at BTI is having real impact in classrooms across New York State. In 2012 over 3,026 high school and middle school students and 265 teachers participated in BTI programs including summer institutes, workshops, classroom experiments and activities as well as presentations and tour at BTI. Many faculty, graduate students, staff and volunteers make this possible.

The bulk of teacher learning happens at our summer institutes and weekend workshops, where teachers are introduced to current plant research topics with societal relevance, from grass to sugars for ethanol, to algae for biodiesel, to land use sustainability. BTI also provide resources for teachers to bring plant science into their classrooms. Another benefit to participating teachers is the connection to other teachers that share a similar interest in plant science, and research in the classroom.

Amanda Gurung, BTI’s Education Lab Coordinator recently traveled to classrooms in Seneca Falls, Fillmore, Fredonia, and Long Island, NY to support trained teachers and engage students in discussions about the importance of plants in meeting human needs. During classroom visits, students discuss how a growing population and climate change could affect agriculture, and answer the question, “What research needs to be done in order for plants to meet future human needs?”

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