Sharing Our Passion for Science and Ag with the Next Generation
Thursday, October 22, 2015
By: Bindia Gupta, Microbiologist
Every day on my commute to work, I pass at least ten different farms, fields, orchards and produce stands. Home for me is Sacramento, America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, heart of the agriculturally rich Central Valley in the number one ag producing state in the nation. Once I get to work, I put on my lab coat and safety glasses and spend hours in the lab analyzing microbes to help farmers here in California, and around the world, keep their crops healthy – healthy enough to feed a very hungry planet!
This combination of science and agriculture is the very basis of the work we do at Bayer CropScience, and what we hope to be able to share with members of our community. Through visits to local schools, teacher workshops, participation in STEM events in our region, and engaging with partnering organizations to advance agriculture education, our team at Bayer is excited to share our passion with the next generation of Californians. As part of the West Sacramento “Making Science Make Sense” volunteer team, our mission is to ignite an interest in science for area students while at the same time creating an awareness of where the food comes from that fills their lunchboxes, cafeterias and dinner tables. We did this most recently last Saturday, October 10 when we sponsored and hosted a booth at the local Expanding Your Horizons Conference, held at California State University, Sacramento, reaching more than 500 young girls from 6th-8th grades with our STEM activities.
Making Science Make Sense booth at the Expanding Your Horizons Conference at California State University, Sacramento
Sometimes, when my colleagues and I are talking with students, we describe our jobs as being “plant doctors.” We talk about how plants can get sick, just like humans do, and our duty is to come up with ways to keep the plants healthy and productive, which resonates well with school-aged children. After a day of hands-on activities with students, the ultimate reward comes in the form of a simple comment we hear time after time: “I never knew science could be so much fun!”
Be sure to keep up with this week’s Making Science Make Sense events in West Sacramento and across the country on Twitter with the hashtag #AgLiteracyWeek!