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Students learn the practical side of science

A group of students from the University of Wisconsin learned how their theoretical studies can be put in to practice when they visited CIMMYT last week, 14-21 August 2011. Alongside introductions to many of CIMMYT’s programs, the group also visited Tlaltizapán and Toluca stations, conservation agriculture projects, corn millings, and the National Institute of Public Health in Cuernavaca. Visits to some of Mexico’s best tourist attractions also featured in the trip, including trips to Teotihuacan, the Botanical Gardens of Mexico, the Anthropology Museum, and Bellas Artes.

Student Gina Obiakor highlighted just how important this trip was for the students to see how the theoretical knowledge they learn at university can be related to the science that takes place in practice. “I really enjoyed actually learning about what goes on in the fields; how things are done in the labs… the way things are done,” she said.

Trips such as this allow CIMMYT to showcase its work to a new generation of potential scientists, as well as encouraging the students themselves to pursue a career in agricultural research. “The trip definitely inspired me, because I had never really dealt with plant genetics. It’s inspired me to, in the future, to do research on biofortification, and inspired me to keep pursuing what I was intending on doing in my undergrad,” said Obiakor.

Special thanks to Petr Kosina, Daniela Flores, Laura Ruiz, Ă“scar Banuelos, all the scientists who presented information to the class, and huge thanks to Fernando Delgado and Dagoberto Flores for guiding the class during field trips to Toluca and Calpulalpan CA work.