The Botanical Society of America partners with Saint Louis University to offer student internships in plant science outreach and education
The Botanical Society of America (BSA – botany.org), based in St. Louis, MO, founded in 1893, is a "not-for-profit" 501(c)(3) membership society whose mission is to promote botany. To accomplish this mission, the objectives of the Society are to: sustain and provide improved formal and informal education about plants; encourage basic plant research; provide expertise, direction, and position statements concerning plants and ecosystems; and foster communication within the professional botanical community, and between botanists and the rest of humankind through publications, meetings, and committees.
In pursuit of its mission, the BSA administers the PlantingScience program (PlantingScience.org), a project funded in part by the National Science Foundation and supported by 13 other plant science societies. PlantingScience is an online learning community in which scientists actively provide mentorship to student lead teams as they work through the scientific process of designing and thinking through their own 3-9 week research projects.
Two Saint Louis University Biology students, Judith Bailey and Samantha Selby, worked as interns in the PlantingScience program in Fall 2015. The internship offered hands-on experience to university students with interests in science, botany, biology and/or education to help facilitate the online science mentoring community. This excellent opportunity facilitated experiences with best practices in science communication and mentoring, behind-the-scenes view of managing an online community, working with a variety of teachers and scientists around the world, and doing science outreach that contributes to increasing science interest and understanding in middle and high school students. As an intern, you will serve for a minimum of one semester. Intern responsibilities included entry and management of data related to students, teachers, and scientists involved in the project, and facilitation of online interactions between PlantingScience students and teachers and their scientist mentors. Interns communicated with program participants via e-mail, online forums, and/or Skype videoconference. Additional tasks included assistance with program promotion via social and print media.
Many thanks to Dr. Catrina Adams, BSA Education Director, for partnering with SLU in this training opportunity and to Judith and Samantha for outstanding contributions to the BSA.
Miller Lab members