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EcoTek Students Continue Experimental Journey

EcoTek Students Continue Experimental Journey

The students visit once each month to plant, grow and harvest wheat and soy plants. Soon they will analyze the data and complete the second year that PSM faculty, staff and students have worked together with EcoTek to bring Detroit students to MSU for an on-going, hands on plant research experience.

EcoTek is a privately run lab facility in Detroit that offers high school student extra-curricular science experiences. EcoTek students come to labs in PSM, as well as Engineering and Forestry. One EcoTek student joined MSU’s Forestry department as an undergraduate after participating in the program.

Now a senior in high school in Detroit, Elaine says she likes gardening and has always been interested in science. “This is my first time working with soil and roots and rhizomes and things like that, and I’ve learned that every plant has different needs and the roots help them get what they need.”

I’ve learned that agriculture is a really important part of a sustainable society,” said Elaine. “Coming here to this lab and doing this experiment really showed me how vast the field is. I didn't realize how much experimenting went into just, like, the roots.”

“We are trying to figure out if things like weeds and fertilizer make a difference on wheat and soybean plants,” Hayley said, while Dr. Eric Patterson showed her how to separate soil from roots. “We’re, like, getting our hands dirty—not just writing down what the teacher says,” said Haley, who recently presented some of her work here in a poster at an event at Wayne State University: “What is Imagej and how does it play a part in phenotypic data analysis.”

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Photo Credit: gettyimages-lisegagne

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Categories: Michigan, Crops, Soybeans, Wheat, Education, Harvesting

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