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In the final segment of the series on the Missouri State Fruit Experimentation Station in Mountain Grove, KSMU's Greg Leuthen reports on the Station's high school and college student program that allows students to get hands on experience in the research laboratories.
In the laboratory outside of Dr. Wenping Qiu's office, four countertops are covered with hundreds of items like test tubes, microscopes, beakers, and dishes with grape skins. But he and the other research professors are not the only ones who have to sort through all of this material.
The Missouri State Fruit Experimentation Station offers paid positions to local high school and college students who want to work and learn at the same time.
Clayton Dennis is going to be a second year student at the University of Missouri-Rolla, and has worked at the Station for four years. He says that the job is a great opportunity.
Dr. Laszlo Kovacs says that he and Qiu work closely with the high school students and college undergrads as a way of giving back. He also says it gives the research professors some much needed help.
Student Clayton Dennis explains some of the work that he does for Kovacs and Qiu.
Juleah Marquis, who will be a freshman at Missouri State University next fall, just started working at the Station this summer. She says the experience has helped her learn more about biology and genetics.
Qiu says that high school and college undergrad students first started working in the research labs in 2001. Each year they have had two or three of these students working in the program, but this year they have expanded to four.