The American Society of Plant Biologists' Education Foundation will provide nearly $20,000 in funding for a new after-school program on plant biology at Urbana Middle School. With the support of faculty members from several departments, plant biology graduate students will develop the program, called Plants iView, which will have a strong online component.
"The fact that the Plants iView program is student-driven was a key feature in our selection for funding and something for us to be proud of, I think," said plant biology professor Andrew Leakey, principal investigator of the project.
"Many students in our department felt strongly that we could and should put more effort into community outreach, but we didn't yet have the organization or resources in place for it," said Ryan Kelly, student leader of the project. "Plants iView is our homegrown solution to provide both."
Plant biology professor Tom Jacobs, cell and developmental biology professor Mary Schuler, curriculum and instruction professor Barbara Hug, and entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum are supporting the initiative. Plant biology graduate students Cody Markelz, Rhiannon Peery, Miranda Segura, Sharon Gray, Courtney Leisner and Rebecca Slattery will work with Kelly and the faculty members to develop and implement the program.