See more from this Session: General Resident Education: II
Tuesday, November 2, 2010: 3:00 PM
Long Beach Convention Center, Room 203C, Second Floor
The Bean Coordinated Agricultural Project (BeanCAP) is a multi-state interdisciplinary effort covering three areas: research, extension, and education. The research aspect is directed towards the assessment of the genetic diversity of important nutritional traits and the use of translational genomic tools to identify genes controlling those traits in Phaseolus beans. The major extension outreach activities are related to novel and traditional methods of sharing information with the public about the nutritional benefits of bean consumption. In the area of education, the group is focusing on increasing awareness of careers in bean breeding and early recruitment of students using face-to-face interactions and social networking. This presentation will describe in detail the activities involved with the education component of the BeanCAP, including a rationale and justification for these activities and the important lessons learned during the first year of the project. Direct hands-on learning activities are aimed to get high school students and undergraduate students interested in plant breeding as a career option. Internships during the summer months and the academic semester are exposing the students to all the daily activities commonly undertaken in any breeding program. Using a holistic approach, researchers are exposing students to both conventional breeding techniques as well as new approaches using genomic tools. Additional activities include presentations in high schools and student meetings, career fairs as well as the development of printed and audiovisual media that will be available in the BeanCAP website. A description of the challenges faced during the first year, as well as the future plans are briefly explained and open for further discussion.