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Plant Doctors and Detectives: Students learn about Plant Pathology Careers

Posted: May 13, 2011

In early April 2011, the Department had an opportunity to share its love of plant pathology with young women from across the state through participating in the 2011 WISE Day Camp.
2011 WISE Day Camp Plant Doctors and Detectives Workshop sponsored by the Department of Plant Pathology.

2011 WISE Day Camp Plant Doctors and Detectives Workshop sponsored by the Department of Plant Pathology.

The Department of Plant Pathology participated in the 2011 WISE Day Camp held on 9 April 2011 on the University Park campus. The one day camp is geared towards young women in grades 10 through 12 who are interested in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). They participate in a number of hands-on workshops facilitated by Penn State faculty, staff and students and interact with female role models from both academia and industry.

Students had the opportunity to be “Plant Doctors and Detectives” and learn about how plants get sick, how to identify diseases on plants using dichotomous keys, how plant diseases affect our lives and career opportunities in the field of plant pathology. The 50-min workshop was organized and facilitated by Maria Velez-Climent, Sara May, Michele Mansfield and Beth Gugino. A brief presentation introduced some general concepts about plant pathology. The students were then presented with a series of clues at each station describing the plant host and symptoms as well as both macro- and microscopic samples and then used dichotomous keys based on the host crop to identify the disease. The session was wrapped up with a discussion about how plant disease affects our lives and possible career opportunities in plant pathology. For more information on the WISE Institute please visit (http://equity.psu.edu/wise/).