Our lab values outreach activities to showcase the importance of plant science research
to a wide range of people, such as, farmers, non plant-science majors, K-12 students,
and the general public.
1. Working with K-12 students
Training next generation scientists is essential to advance the science. We are actively
engaged in educating and training of K-12 students. We have been participating in
Science and engineering fairs organized every year. The science and engineering fair provides an opportunity to
interact with students who are interested in science and encourage them in plant science
education and research. In addition, we are offering facilities and training to K-12
students to conduct scientific experiments. Currently, we are working with science
teacher, Alicea A. Chaloupka, Ph.D. from Christ the King Cathedral School, Lubbock on providing the facilities and training to the students on scientific experiments.
We strongly encourage science teachers and school students to contact us to discuss
2. Cotton school program:
The PI is a member of Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute (FBRI). FBRI is equipped and staffed to conduct research and development activities
ranging from small-scale testing through large-scale manufacturing. A fundamental
objective is to foster greater use of the natural fibers and increase textile manufacturing
in Texas. Research activities range from researching, testing, and evaluating natural
and man-made fibers, production and evaluation of yarns and fabrics; alternative textile
processing systems, dyeing and finishing and special yarn and fabric treatments. In
addition, FBRI along with Lubbock Cotton Exchange sponsor a non-traditional classroom course on cotton education and research (PSS5370:
US and Global Cotton Fiber-Textile Industries) through the Cotton School program. The cotton school is an intensive two-week program with classes, lectures, tours
and hands-on interaction covering all phases of cotton production, harvesting, ginning,
classing, testing, preparation and processing (field to fashion). This course was
attended by fashion technologists, engineers, industrialists, county extension agents,
interior designers, fashion technologists, USDA-Foreign Agricultural Service members,
cotton producers, and policy makers. Since its inception in 1989, this course has
attracted 578 international participants from 60 different countries and 262 domestic
participants. Approximately 30 guest experts from the United States and international
organizations provide instruction and engage in discussion with students. The PI teaches
one session of this program. This provides the PI best opportunity to reach out not
only to the US cotton participants, but also to the global cotton community.
3. Improving the awareness of farmers and the general public
The FBRI institute attracts several visitors each year ranging from K-12 school students,
farmers, fashion technologists, engineers, chemists, industrialists, and researchers
to the politicians providing an excellent out reach opportunities. Educating these
groups will improve the awareness of cotton research in particular and plant science
research in general. In addition, this institute was visited by County extension agents
of Family and Consumer Sciences program (FCS) with the members. The FCS group conducts
educational programs in their local community that relate to textiles and fibers.
Additionally they work with young people who have an interest in the textile industry
as a career. This is an excellent opportunity for the PI to educate the group on the
research activities to reach out to students and youth who are interested in textile
research apart from local community.
4. Guest lectures
Guest lectures to the FBRI visitors and non-plant science majors will disseminate
information to about cotton research. The PI gave a guest lecture to visiting Cochran
Fellows from Pakistan on cotton fiber initiation research using model system. In addition,
the PI gave guest lecture and conducted a lab session to ruminant nutrition class
at TTU. The PI will continue to give guest lectures to non-plant science majors.