Outreach & Education
The consortium supports education in science and technology by providing research opportunities to undergraduate and graduate students, and by offering outreach programs for primary and secondary schools, including dissemination of the Mutant Millets hand-on teaching module.
PIC participates in Arkansas Science Festival events - 10/24/2016
On Friday, October 7th, members from the Arkansas State University PIC team provided hands-on demonstrations in plant science to hundreds of local citizens and community members during "Science Fun Night/ Mad Scientist GLO-run". In addition, PIC shared their enthusiasm for science at the A-State Regional Farmers’ Market on the morning of October 8th. During both events, attendees investigated Arabidopsis phenotypes, identified and sorted common vegetables into their botanical parts, and explored plant metabolism in the "Vitamin C Pathway" game. PIC team members included Dr. Argelia Lorence, Shea Harris, Lucia Acosta, Jarrod Creameans, Erin Langley, Kendl Fischer" The event was sponsored by the Arkansas Biosciences Institute at Arkansas State University.
News update - 3/18/2016
PIC students and staff participated in Arkansas State University's inaugural DNA Day held at the A-State Student Activities Center. The event was one of many held nationwide as part of National DNA Day, an observance promoted by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This celebration offered regional students and teachers exciting opportunities to learn about the latest advances in genomic research and explore how those advances impact their lives. During the event, PIC undergraduate and graduate students shared their research science with more than 100 7th and 8th grade students from Northeast Arkansas. Specifically for the event, PIC members created an original demonstration and interactive game to compare vitamin C production in animals versus plants. The demonstration allowed the students to compare a human's inability to produce vitamin C and numerous metabolic pathways plants have to ensure its production. The booth cumulated with the students learning how gene mutations, over-expression and misshapen proteins all have an effect on production of vitamin C in organisms and vitamin C's importance in successful stress tolerance in plants.
The event was sponsored by the Arkansas Biosciences Institute at Arkansas State University.
News update - 10/2/2015
The outreach team in northeast Arkansas participates in Arkansas Science Festival events. On Oct. 2, over 400 K-12 children and parents participated in the Mad Scientist Glo-Run and Science Fun Night as part of the kick-off of the 2015 Arkansas Science Festival. PIC showcased the Mutant Millets citizen science project and involved students and parents in various activities related to the different edible parts of fruits and vegetables, the effect that vitamin C has on the body, and the different parts of a plant cell. The ASU Farmers Market and A-State Homecoming Tailgate was held on Oct. 3, where PIC opened these activities again to the general public. On Oct. 5, Shea Harris, outreach lead in northeast Arkansas, presented a booth on the Mutant Millets project at the AR STEM Coalition Meeting. PIC reached over 1200 students and parents during the three-day period.
Phenotype-to-Genotype » 10/2/2014 - University of Arkansas - Fayetteville
As part of the 14th Biennial Biennial Insect Festival of Arkansas (October 2, 2014, Fayetteville, AR), the Goggin laboratory (University of Arkansas, Fayetteville) presented a demonstration on molecular biology. The objectives of the display were to explain in general terms what DNA, genotypes, phenotypes, and mutations are, and to demonstrate how scientists study mutations to understand the relationship between genotype and phenotype. Visitors used microscopes to distinguish between mutant and wild-type fruit flies, and used Lego blocks to visualize how mutations can affect the nucleic acid sequence of DNA. This public outreach event was attended by ~2,500 visitors, including elementary school groups, parents, and teachers.
Plant High Throughout Phenotyping » 10/10/2014 - Jonesboro, AR
As part of the Arkansas Science Festival held at Arkansas State University, Shea Harris, PIC Outreach Coordinator for North East Arkansas and the Lorence Laboratory presented a demonstration on plant phenotyping at the Science Expo (October 10, 2014, Jonesboro, AR). The objectives of the display were to explain the importance of studying plant phenotypes using Arabidopsis and rice as models. Young students had the chance to learn why vitamin C is important for human and plant health and to observe plant structures with magnifying glasses and dissecting scopes. More advanced students got to learn how modern high throughput phenotyoping tools are being used to identify plants with desirable attributes (e.g. rice tolerant to salt) among large collections of variants.