Education & Outreach
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
BTI’s Mueller and Heck Labs, in collaboration with 21 partner institutions, recently published a draft assembly and annotation of the D. citri genome.read more
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.read more
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.read more
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.read more
Natalie explains how having a mentor and interning at BTI has given her a new perspective on where to plant her professional roots.read more
Michael Miller spent his first two weeks as a PGRP intern at the United States Department of Agriculture’s Arid Land Research Center.read more
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.read more
BTI intern Cassandra Proctor has developed a self-described “obsession” with food security. The first-year plant science major at Cornell University developed a newfound fascination with plants through her internship in the lab of BTI Professor Maria Harrison her senior year of high school. That interest deepened through her involvement with Global Youth Institute and during a summer spent in the Philippines working at the International Rice Research Institute. Now, she’s excited about improving access to affordable, nutritious food, whether that means working for better, more sustainable crops as a plant scientist, or working outside the lab in the realm of policy and outreach. Food security touches so many other issues, said Proctor,...read more
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.read more
The company, founded by BTI board member Greg Galvin, supports high quality, local STEM education programs.read more
BTI's Curriculum Development Projects in Plant Biology summer institute exposes STEM educators to new research on agriculture, plant biotechnology and bioenergy.read more
A group of students and experts work together through video conferencing to identify the genes in the genome of the newly sequenced Asian citrus psyllid, the insect that spreads the bacterium that causes citrus greening disease.read more