Plant science is crucial to addressing many of the global challenges facing us in the 21st Century. We are in need of new crops, drugs and alternative energy sources, yet plant science is one of the least popular science subjects at school and plant science degree courses struggle to attract applicants.
How can we encourage university students to study plants? As part of our commitment to engage undergraduates in plant science we run an annual summer school which successfully conveys the excitement and potential of plant science to undergraduates and have developed a shared repository of educational resources (the Plant Science TREE), which is used by plant science educators to inspire their undergraduates.
The Gatsby Plant Science Summer School
Talks from leading scientists, careers sessions and eye opening practicals inspire some of the UK’s brightest bioscience undergraduates on to a future in plant science.
The impact of the Summer School in changing students’ attitudes to plant science, increasing the pipeline of plant science researchers and in inspiring future graduates that will enter disparate careers with a raised awareness of the importance of plant science to society. is reported in: Levesley A., Jopson S.J., Knight C.D. 2012. The Plant Cell April 2012 vol. 24 no. 4 1306-1315. http://dx.doi.org/10.1105/tpc.111.094326
The Plant Science TREE: Tool for Research Engaged Education
The Plant Science TREE http://www.gatsbyplants.leeds.ac.uk/tree is an on-line teaching tool giving access to educational resources, such as on-line lectures, downloadable lecture slides, movies and other materials on topical plant science from the research community, so that the excitement and potential for plant science can be disseminated to a wide student audience through educators worldwide. The Plant Science TREE was developed by listening to the needs of lecturers and working closely with them in its construction and has recieved resource contributions from over 90 academics and publishers.
We would like to thank all those who have generously supported this project. The Summer Schools would not have been possible without the time and energy put in by so many members of the plant science community who have acted as speakers, practical leaders and tutors.
Thank you also to all of those who have contributed to the Plant Science TREE, with lecture slides, teaching materials and their time, support and ideas.
The work of the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School project is funded and supported by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation.
If you require any further information regarding the Gatsby Plant Science Summer School project please contact us