Growing MSMS in Lubbock, Texas
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
By: Anicia Montgomery, QA/QC Technician
I always knew I wanted to be a scientist. When you’re young, that doesn’t mean much of anything because the world is so big, you are so small, and science is everything when you get down to it. If I caught a bug in a jar, watched a tornado forming from the porch, or stared at the endless rows of cotton fields on our way into town, it was all science around me. What made me decide on scientist was that spark of curiosity that you get when you see something and you have to ask “Why?” That excitement never went away because the questions never went away; no one ever made me stop asking. My grandpa would take care of me when I came home from school, and as we drove he would name every crop we passed. He liked to teach me about them and about how they grew and how to care for them. He was a wiz at farming. He had picked it up because he and my grandma had been migrant workers and had traveled all their lives picking crops. Oranges in Florida, corn in Iowa, tomatoes in California, and cotton in Texas, which is where they finally stayed. Every year my grandpa would haul cotton modules from fields to gin, and he was always so proud to give to us from the little that he earned. He did that until he died. That was agriculture in my life: a sense of pride, a sense of family, a sense of community.
When I was hired with Bayer, I was sent to orientation like all new employees. During that time, Making Science Make Sense® was mentioned as an available program, and that sparked my curiosity. Unfortunately, once I was back in Lubbock, Texas, it was something that went away because here, away from the resources and knowledge, work was just a day in day out thing. It went on like that for years. Recently, I found myself in a situation I had never hoped to be in: I didn’t know if I wanted to be a scientist anymore. I knew I had to revitalize my job to better evaluate the situation, so I joined the site coordination team. I was sure I just needed a change. As part of this team, I was tasked with giving a presentation over Making Science Make Sense to my site so that they were aware of the available programs. Then I started digging and learning, and I started to ask questions to understand what other sites were doing for kids – kids that wanted to be scientists. While I was giving my presentation, I realized that when people were asking me questions about the program, I kept telling them they could email me and I would figure it out, that I would contact the school they wanted to help, that the teacher they knew could call me and we would set something up. I wanted our community to realize that we care as much about their education and about their future as we do about our own. That’s why I decided that Lubbock needed this program.
Our community isn’t as large as others, but we do serve many small rural towns that can benefit from this program. Many people are interested. Our first event was our new site grand opening, and in two short months, the program is already overflowing with requests. We even have started booking events through April of next year. The Lubbock community was ready for this program, and they are excited about it. In our area, agriculture is everywhere you go, but sometimes kids forget how big of a role it actually plays in all of our lives.
Employees gather at first MSMS event in Lubbock, Texas
Making Science Make Sense gives us a way to bring that back to them and to build on that foundation that is already there for us. We want to solidify the importance of agriculture in our community because out here agriculture is community. It’s a way of life for us all, and you can never separate the two; you can only strengthen the bond. This program is amazing in so many ways, and I know that Lubbock is beginning to see the good that will grow out of it. Not only does it give to our community, but it also gives just as much to Bayer employees. It’s easy to get lost in what we do day in and day out and forget about what made you decide to be there in the first place, but Making Science Make Sense lets you watch that spark of curiosity happen. It lets you see the world, give that to a child, and help. It also helps remind you that you still have that spark, too.
Be sure to keep up with this week’s Making Science Make Sense events in Lubbock and across the country on Twitter with the hashtag #AgLiteracyWeek!