Smile Politely

U of I professor makes popcorn part of high school education

Think food can’t be a tool in the classroom? Allow me to introduce you to I-POP, the program that makes agricultural education memorable. Created by Anthony Studer, an associate professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois, I-POP teaches the basic concepts of genomics through sets of popcorn seeds that Studer bred together. The popcorn seeds are bred with many different variables, resulting in differences in shape, color and more. 

Even though the popcorn is designed for the education of high school students, Studer also learns from their use. When students are able to take notes on their findings, it helps him gain further data about his seeds and create better lessons for future students. 

Image from Department of Crop Sciences UIUC website.

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