By: Melanie Fann, Mariana Smith, William Tu, Derek Siegrest
This week, students began working on their global seminar projects. They were assigned a topic related to current agricultural issues in the world, and have to answer an in-depth question while incorporating the concepts of engineering, science, and economics. Students were divided into groups of five people with mixtures of different interests and majors in each group. By the end of the month each group is responsible for a poster, brochure, 3D printed object, and paper to be presented at the symposium. In the first few days, students have began to create plans of work and lay out the rules for their teams. They also created an outline for the first drafts of their 10-page research papers.
The topics which are being researched in global seminar are food safety, food security, climate change, childhood obesity, and sustainable energy. In food security, multiple issues dealing with undernourishment in underdeveloped countries were found. Major contributors tend to deal with the lack of resources, the political contradictions with foreign nations, and the harsh environment surrounding them. In food safety, we have examined the causes of disease spreading through food, whether that’s through poor sanitation, bad farming practices, or improper food preparation.
There are subtopics under each larger topic. For example, one group in climate change is tasked with finding a solution to greenhouse gas emissions that are produced or related to agriculture. The emissions are not only related to agricultural production itself, like livestock or rice cultivation, but are also related to transportation and other industrial aspects. Another group in food safety is analyzing whether food donation programs such as the WIC are beneficial and what alternatives are possible for it.
The global seminar groups will continue to work towards their final project for the remainder of the month, and are enthusiastic to share their research and findings in the Symposium at the end of the month.