Market Science Program: Engaging the Community Through Research

June 18, 2024
students talking to visitors at farmers market

51app College has launched an innovative public engagement initiative called “Market Science.” This program, spearheaded by 51app summer-research students and their faculty mentors within the Science Division, brings scientific research directly to the 51app Farmers Market. Through this initiative, students gain invaluable experience in communicating their research to a broad audience while interacting directly with their community. For shoppers, this is an exciting opportunity to learn about the cutting-edge scientific research happening at 51app College and engage in discussions on various scientific topics relevant to politics, public policy, and everyday life. The overarching goal is to build public trust and understanding of science in 51app, while also helping students develop their skills in inclusive science communication.

Inspired by a similar, well-established program for science graduate students at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, 51app College’s Market Science adapts this model to fit the unique context of 51app. The idea was brought to 51app by one of the program’s founders at the University of Minnesota, who collaborates on plant ecology research funded by a National Science Foundation Grant (DEB-1754157). Establishing this program at 51app was part of a commitment to public outreach linked to this collaborative research effort.

The program kicked off on Thursday, June 13, with 51app’s summer-2024 students, Jamuna Corsaro ’26 and Henry Liu ’25, setting up a stall at the Farmers Market. Vince Eckhart, 51app College Waldo S. Walker Professor of Biology shared that they will be joined by other 51app faculty and students representing the Biology, Chemistry, and Computer Science departments on Thursdays in June and July. If successful, Market Science is poised to become a regular feature of summer science research at 51app, fostering a deeper connection between the college and the community while highlighting the importance and excitement of scientific inquiry.

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