Inspiring young scientists at the Fascination of Plants Day in Tanzania


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Fascination of Plants Day 2013 in Tanzania

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Inspiring young scientists at the Fascination of Plants Day in Tanzania

  1. 1. Inspiring tomorrow’s scientists: Tanzania Marks Fascination of Plants DayTwo events were held in Tanzania to mark this year’s Fascination of plants day.IITA-Tanzania hosts young scientistsIITA-Tanzania invited children from a neighboring school, East Africa International School, for a tour of itsfacilities at Mikcoheni, Dar es Salaam, and a briefing on the institute’s research activities in the country.Over 50 students in Grade 6 and 7 accompanied by three teachers visited the institute on June 7, 2013 aspart of events to mark this year’s Fascination of Plants Day.From left: Dr Victor Manyong, IITA Director for eastern Africa hub welcomes the students at the lobby of its science building.Students listening keenly to Dr Manyong. A student reading the Fascination Day of Plants Day flier.They were welcomed by the institute’s director for eastern Africa, Dr Victor Manyong, who briefed themon the importance of plants and the Fascination of Plants Day celebrations. He also briefed them onIITA’s research efforts on plants to increase food production. He said farmers in the country were facing alot of challenges that the institute was trying to solve through science including tackling pests anddiseases and adding value to crops so farmers can fetch more money.He encouraged them to take up sciences as the future of the country depended on having a goodnumber of scientists to find solutions to the problems affecting farmers.The children then visited two laboratories, one for plant health and the other for food science, andtoured the green houses where research on vegetables pests and diseases are being conducted.Students in the plant diseases laboratory
  2. 2. They appreciated the visit and afterwards shared on what they had learned.“Plants are important. They beautify the environment, they give us food and medicine and oxygen. So noplants no life, “ Tamika Johani, 11, Grade 6.“Some cassava plants have diseases. IITA scientists are trying to find out what the disease is,” JulietMaeda, 13 years in Grade 7.“IITA are researching on plant diseases to help our farmers,” Ismail Nangi, 14 years in Grade 5.In the food science/value addition laboratoryIn the green houses
  3. 3. Young scientists at international School of TanganyikaAs part of the celebrations for the second global Fascination of Plants Day, IITA scientist, Dr Danny Coyne,made presentation to grade 3 students of the International School of Tanganyika in Tanzania, who haverecently been studying the world of plants.The children were enthusiastic learners of the world of plants. They were intrigued by tissue culturebanana, and fascinated that this could help provide healthy, disease-free plants for farmers.Dr Coyne, was impressed by how well informed the children were: “They already knew abouttranspiration and that, as part of the process of photosynthesisplants release oxygen and use carbon dioxide, and therefore agood reason why we need to look after plants. Many also knewthat bats pollinate banana flowers too, but did not knowhowever that bananas have no seeds.”Talking to grade 3 on plants research