UACES Facebook Sept 29: Arkansas high school science virtual field trip on ‘food for the future’
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Sept 29: High school science virtual field trip on ‘food for the future’

By Mary Hightower
U of A System Division of Agriculture 

Fast facts:

    • Nearly two dozen schools, more than 450 students across Arkansas to take part in virtual field trip
    • Virtual Field Trip set for Sept. 29.
    • Future food supply, GMOs topics for discussion

(325 words)

LITTLE ROCK -- A pair of plant pathology professors will be giving a lesson in the science behind genetically modified plants and the world’s future food supply during a virtual field trip being broadcast from the University of Arkansas campus.

“Gardens of the Galaxy: A Battle for Food of the Future,” will be airing from 9:35 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. CDT, a window that fits the greatest possible number of science classes around Arkansas. It will be broadcast from a campus plant lab and a research greenhouse, and hosted by Burt Bluhm, assistant professor-Plant Pathology, and Ken Korth, professor-Plant Pathology, both of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

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As of Sept. 9, nearly two-dozen schools and two 4-H clubs with more than 450 students are expected to take part.

This is the second year the Soybean Science Challenge virtual field trip has been offered by the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service, part of the Division of Agriculture. The Soybean Science Challenge is produced in partnership with the Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board.

“There are a lot of opinions about GMOs today,” said Karen Ballard, professor-Program and Staff Development for the division. “At the end of the day, science matters and this virtual field trip will bring students into the lab to understand and be a part of the discussion.” 

Ballard said “the goal of the Soybean Science Challenge is to engage and connect ninth through twelfth grade Arkansas science students with practicing scientists working with current real-world issues. The program supports the development of a deeper understanding of applied science and is meant to foster student interest in science-based careers as well. 

“The virtual field trips allow urban, rural, large and small schools and students to sit on the front lines with practicing scientists and have the opportunity to engage in real-time discussions from locations they might not otherwise be able to access,” she said.  

Fourteen schools from across Arkansas took part in last year’s inaugural virtual field trip. The schools use the collaborative video conferencing service called Zoom.

For more information about the virtual field trip, contact Lynn Wilson at 501-671-2086. To learn more about the Arkansas Soybean Science Challenge, visit 

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126


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