The Science Mobile, the traveling laboratory of the Sor Isolina Ferre Center, will offer science workshops at four public housing communities in the towns of Juana Diaz and Santa Isabel. This initiative will be possible thanks to a $10,000 donation from the Monsanto Fund to the establish the Science for All Program.
The first workshop, which offered the theme of agricultural biotechnology for the first time in the Science Mobile, was offered to students living in the Leonardo Santiago Public Housing Project in Juana Díaz. Coinciding with the celebration of Biosciences Week, ten students from various public schools in the area worked for two hours on various topics, such as basic laboratory rules, and explored topics in the areas of chemistry and physics.
They also learned basic concepts of agricultural biotechnology or the application of genetic improvements to agricultural products, which Monsanto uses in Puerto Rico in various research projects related to the development of cotton, soy and corn seeds. Monsanto has operations in Juana Díaz.
“I’ve always enjoyed science experiments. One discovers new things,” said ninth-grader Luis E. Castillo, a resident of the Leonardo Santiago Complex, while measuring the correct amounts of various substances used to explore the banana DNA.
The Science for All Program will bring the Science Mobile over the next few months to the Leonardo Santiago and Villa del Parque Public Housing Projects in Juana Díaz, and the Pedro M. Descartes and Rincón Taíno Public Housing Projects in Santa Isabel. In each one, two courses will be offered to 20 students, for a total of 80 students reached.
“Thanks to Monsanto’s investment, we have been able to expand the range of the Science Mobile workshops with a subject as current as agricultural biotechnology. We hope that students who participate in our Science for All Programs in these four public housing projects will rediscover science as a door that opens many opportunities for their future,” said CSIF chief executive officer José Luis Díaz Cotto.