Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scholars in the Making

Matthaei-Nichols associate curator David Michener recently finished teaching his course in the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Michigan Math and Science Scholars program. The MMSS program, according to its website, is designed "to expose high school students to current developments and research in the sciences and to encourage the next generation of researchers to develop and retain a love of mathematics and science." The course ran July 8 through 20.

Michener's course was Exploring Landscape Diversity, in which landscapes can be "read" for information not evident to the untrained observer. According to Michener there were more international students in his course than usual, with students from India, Taiwan, Greece, Korea, and China.

We caught up with several of the students on the penultimate day of the course working on an assignment to map soil diversity on areas of Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Gregory, from Greece, said that this assignment, and the course in general, taught him how field research is done. Manasi, an Indian-American student, revealed that the course had allowed her to see nature from a different perspective.

Kudos to David Michener for bringing nature to tomorrow's scientists, and to all of the students who participated!