BTI’s Impact through Education and Outreach
The Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI) believes it’s crucial to have an informed and engaged public. Thus, outreach and education is a primary institute directive, with efforts to make plant science accessible for all audiences and to inspire and support new plant scientists.
BTI hosts professional development programs linking high school science teachers and students with BTI researchers in collaborative research projects. The institute also fosters research and educational experiences for undergraduate and graduate students and community members, along with summer internships for area high school students.
BTI prepares graduate students for multiple career paths through an initiative known as “T-training.” “Over the last ten years, the situation for graduate students has become more challenging,” says President David Stern, who developed the project. “Five out of six students don’t end up running a lab–they enter a different profession.” The T-training teaches grad students skills such as networking, tech transfer, and communication skills that can facilitate smoother transitions into nonacademic career paths.
T-training is just one part of a larger plant science directive known as the Decadal Vision, a report drawn up by Stern and other plant science thought-leaders that prioritizes key goals for the field. In addition to T-training, these goals include improving the knowledge and applications of plant genomes and plant-derived chemicals, and the ability to find answers in a torrent of data. “The goal is to raise awareness and create a pathway to implement these ideas,” says Stern.
BTI Education and Outreach Mission
BTI Education and Outreach aims to link students, teachers, and scientists in learning and teaching through inquiry and discovery in plant biology. We provide academic and career development opportunities to young people, teachers, and mentors. Environmental and agricultural sustainability are tied to the advancement and understanding of plant research and technology. We increase scientific literacy in these areas, while preparing the next generation of scientists.
Education & Outreach News
2018 PGRP intern Akriti Bhattarai reflects on her summer research experience, highlighting food security, San Diego, liquid nitrogen, and cows!
2018 PGRP Intern Autumn reflects on her summer experience, covering Bridgewater, Bogdanove Lab, bananas, and Buffalo Street.
Boyce Thompson Institute’s (BTI’s) 2018 Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) interns have arrived in Ithaca for their summer of biology and bioinformatics research! This June, more than thirty of the country’s brightest students arrived at BTI from all over the United States to experience the life of a researcher.
BTI’s Mueller and Heck Labs, in collaboration with 21 partner institutions, recently published a draft assembly and annotation of the D. citri genome.
Joe Macchia, a science teacher at the Urban Science Academy in Bronx, NY, uses BTI teaching kits to engage his students in hands-on science.
Now in its 16th year, BTI’s annual PGRP symposium provides a means for student interns to to present their findings in a professional, engaging setting.
Follow Science In Real Life (IRL) as they head to the Van Eck Lab and demystify GMOs by showing how they’re made in the lab.
Natalie explains how having a mentor and interning at BTI has given her a new perspective on where to plant her professional roots.
Michael Miller spent his first two weeks as a PGRP intern at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Arid Land Research Center.
Motivated, curious, and eager to discover, BTI’s 2017 Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) interns are ready to dive into a 2+ month transformative experience that will prepare them for their future career.
“Food security is a mixture of all the different aspects of agriculture. It’s not just growing the food,” said Proctor. “It’s not just planting something in the ground – there is a lot more to it.”
The five-year grant is given to innovative, early career scientists to support high-risk research with the potential to make significant contributions to the field.
The company, founded by BTI board member Greg Galvin, supports high quality, local STEM education programs.