Second annual Fascination of Plants Day @MSU a budding success

  • May 21, 2018
  • Fascination of Plants Day @MSU, Plant science, Outreach, event
  • Homepage News, Faculty & Staff, Research, Students, College of Natural Science, Plant Biology, Plant Research Laboratory

Michigan State University plant biologists hosted the second annual Fascination of Plants Day on Saturday, May 19th, at MSU's Molecular Plant Sciences Building.

Image of Fascination of Plants Day participants
Parents and kids alike had the opportunity to explore the world of plants at the 2018 Fascination of Plants Day @MSU on May 19. Photo by Harley Seeley.

The event invited the general public to explore the world of plants and algae, including hands-on activities for kids and adults. Around 50 volunteers—graduate students, postdocs and faculty members—from various departments in the College of Natural Science and the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources led the demonstrations.

“We proposed general themes of interest, from the germination of seeds to the production of specialized metabolites and their uses, to cover broadly what plant science research is about,” said Anne-Sophie Bohrer-Cognon, a postdoc in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and FoPD event coordinator. "From there, the volunteers came up with ideas to illustrate each theme and developed fun hands-on activities and visuals to explain in simple ways what the science was about.”

FoPD @MSU 2018 drew 200 participants, double the number of attendees at last year’s inaugural event.

“The kids had a lot of fun extracting DNA from fruits and simulating the dispersion of fungal spores, while the adults could really take time to discuss and learn more about the plant-related research we have here at MSU,” Bohrer-Cognon said.

The organizing team is looking to build on the success of the event to continue growing it as an annual event in the coming years.

Fascination of Plants Day is a world-wide event taking place under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO). The goal is to get as many people as possible around the world enthused about the importance of plant sciences for agriculture, forestry, non-food products (paper, timber, chemicals, and energy) pharmaceuticals and environmental conservation.

In addition to Bohrer-Cognon, FoPD @MSU organizing committee members were Bjoern Hamberger, BMB assistant professor, and Aparajita Banerjee, a BMB postdoc, who served as volunteer coordinator.

 

Banner image: Fascination of Plants Day (FoPD) is a worldwide event taking place under the umbrella of the European Plant Science Organisation (EPSO). The goal is to get as many people as possible around the world enthused about the importance of plant sciences. Photo by Harley Seeley.