Bridging Math and the World

It’s the End :(

The Experience

I know when I look back at this experience I will have fond memories of my internship at Bayer.  It was three weeks full of learning and excitement.  All of this learning could not have been accomplished without the several experts that Linnea and myself worked with.  Here’s a little bit about our experience at Bayer that we got to share on the Bayer Intranet:

The Labs

First, we visited the Innovation Center where we saw the beginning stages of plant development. Surprisingly, they had us jump into the lab coats, put on the goggles and get into the action. We got to dissect soybeans and do some pipetting of our own! It was a fun-filled two days with countless connections that made us want to bring plant samplings back to our classrooms.  Math connections made include the probability of a gene expressing itself and the scoring of the plant samples.

The Bee Care Center

We just had to see what the buzz was all about at the Bayer Bee Care Center and couldn’t wait to bee there! As we got suited up to assist in the monthly Hive Assessment, we could already see how many connections there were to the curriculum as well as opportunities to share with our students how incredibly important pollinators are to agriculture. Math connections made include the geometry of a bee hive and the population growth of a bee hive.

The Greenhouse

Neither of us have green thumbs, but we were excited to be put to work impacting every stage of plant development throughout the greenhouses. We have never seen so much soy, but the greenhouse is about more than just growing plants; the science and math is absolutely everywhere, from the beneficial pests to the seed counter.

Safety

We have come to learn that safety is a very important aspect of the Bayer culture. The talks about lab safety, constant reminders about holding the stair rail and huge focus on human and environmental safety showed us that this was a must. Managing risk to all living things is a constant priority for the company to ensure that all products are thoroughly tested.

Clayton Field Site

Our experience with this team was unforgettable. It was awesome to see the passion they have for making golf courses healthier by investigating the fungi that plagues turf and working hard to keep pests off of ornamentals (those are the pretty-looking plants, like marigolds). We were able to see their greenhouse trials and a grand tour of the site, along with some of the biggest bugs we’ve ever laid eyes on.

All the pieces came together for one common goal: Science for a Better Life. From research to communications to safety, everyone is working together to help growers around the world. We want to be ambassadors for not only Bayer, but the science and math behind everything you do. We cannot wait to share what we learned, bring Ag Literacy into our classrooms and connect with Bayer in the future!

Answering some important questions…

What was the most interesting moment?  The most interesting moment was when we got to suit up and take part in the monthly bee hive assessment.

What was the biggest challenge? The biggest challenge was balancing the time we spent with each department and gathering/developing my thoughts about math connections made.

What was it like working with your mentor(s)? How did they open your eyes to a new industry or research? All of the professionals we met and worked with were awesome! They educated us not only about Bayer but also about the importance of Ag Literacy and GMs.

What is your biggest take away?  There were several take aways from this experience including but not limited to the math connections.  However, I think that one really important take away for me was the importance of Ag Literacy – especially for my student population.  For instance, I know that when my students hear agriculture they immediately conjure ideas of a farmer in overalls on a tractor. However, this is not true.  There is much more to agriculture than this stereotypical view.  The agricultural industry includes chemists, biologists, environmental scientists, sales, engineers, communications, marketing, and many more careers!  Also, the agriculture industry is often overlooked, but it is essential in order to feed an ever-growing population and to keep our food safe!  If anything, hopefully I can communicate this to my students and they will think differently when they hear or see the word agriculture. 

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