BTI Participates in Cornell’s Bring a Child to Work Day
On April 28, 2011, thirteen children ages 8 – 12 visited BTI along with their parents as part of Cornell’s Bring a Child to Work Day. This year, 395 children participated in the event, which provides children with the opportunity to learn about career options through activities led by various personnel.
Joyce Van Eck, Tish Keen, Kerry Swartwood, and Florence Breuillin led the BTI activity, Plant Biodiversity/Veggie People Party. The purpose of this activity, in addition to learning about being a plant scientist, is to teach the concepts of plant biodiversity, domestication of wild ancestors, and relatedness by using theSolanaceae as an example. Solanaceae family members (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and tomatillos) in all shapes, sizes, and colors were displayed. After cutting the vegetables open to show the differences and similarities in structure, the children tasted the tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos. Photographs of Solanaceae that are found in other countries, but not in our local stores were part of the presentation. At the end of the activity, the children dressed up the Solanaceae family members for a Veggie People Party, and received a purple “seed” potato to plant and a Solanaceae family coloring/word puzzle book to reinforce the concepts that were discussed.