COSI will reopen to COSI Members on July 8, 2020 and to the general public on July 15, 2020.
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Plant Solutions for Global Problems

Join a graduate student from The Ohio State University’s Translational Plant Sciences program for a discussion on how plant research is impacting our society. Learn about how current research is leading to new farming techniques and advances in bioengineering and food sustainability. Conduct an activity demonstrating how cutting edge research may transform latex production, as it can be harvested from shrubs in the US rather than trees in South America.

With the help of a grant from the American Society of Plant Biologists, Plant Solutions for Global Problems may be available at no cost. A limited number of scholarships will be awarded in the 2019-2020 school year to eligible organizations or schools. Eligibility is determined by the percentage of students enrolled in the federal free and reduced-price meal program. Click below to apply for financial assistance.

Financial Assistance Application

With the included kit of materials, you can extend the discussion beyond the videoconference. Activities include:

  • Exploring Alternatives to Rubber Trees: Conduct an activity using non-rubber tree latex to create a “glove” and compare this properties to that of other materials.
  • Explore Genetic Engineering: Research genetic engineering in order to have a debate about the pros and cons of the topic.
  • Explore Food Waste: Conduct an activity to develop a better understanding of the food system and their individual contributions to food waste.
  • Food Securities Role Playing Game: Play a card designed to describe innovations in food loss, compare the costs and benefits of reducing food loss and understand methods governments use to combat food loss and hunger.
  • Role of Soil in Plant Development: Plant corn in different soil conditions and explore the impact of each on plant growth.


  • Run Time: 60 mins
  • Preparation: ~60 minutes preparing experiment before videoconference
  • Registration Deadline: This program must be reserved at least 4 weeks prior to the program
  • Pre-Visit Activities: This program includes pre-visit activities that will be discussed during the program.

Academic Standards

  • Developed for students in 6th-12th grade using the Next Generation Science Standards
  • Pricing & Details

    $225 (Includes one kit of program materials).
    Kits include materials for 30 students. Additional kits may be purchased for $105 each.

    Included Kit

    Teachers will be sent a kit of materials prior to the program. Activities include: a corn growing experiment, a GMO debate, a food securities card game, and an activity on food waste. During the videoconference, your students will be asked to share their results of the experiments with the Ohio State PhD fellow! The kit also includes a latex dipping experiment that will be conducted during the videoconference in which your students will follow the scientific method while exploring a rubber tree alternative latex. After registering, please see the teacher guide for full details and instructions!

    • Reservation for the 2019-2020 school year will open on August 1st at 9:00am eastern. Both returning and new customers can use the link below to start a reservation. Returning customers, please use the same email used previously to access your user Dashboard with your saved data.

      Click here to begin your reservation by verifying your email!
      • Oct 24 9:00am
      • Nov 6 1:00pm
      • Nov 21 12:00pm
      • Dec 16 9:00am
      • Jan 14 11:00am
      • Jan 30 9:00am
      • Feb 7 11:00am
      • Feb 17 11:00am
      • Mar 12 12:00pm
      • Mar 27 1:00pm
      • Apr 15 12:00pm
      • Apr 21 9:00am
      • May 19 9:00am

    This program was created by COSI and The Center for Applied Plant Sciences at The Ohio State University, with funding from a Plant BLOOME grant from the American Society of Plant Biologists.