A group of young scientists got to show off what they have learned in their lab during the recent USB Biobased Products Stakeholders Workshop in Dearborn, Michigan. “My focus is on innovation and how to use science as a way of improving society,” explained Keith Young, the founder of EcoTek Lab… a Detroit-based program for students from 2nd grade through high school. Young started the project back in 2005 and has 30 students in his current program with connections to 1,500 more through partner schools.
Young says they are working on projects as varied as bio-plastics to biofuels to growing stem cells in the laboratory. Ecotek starts with an understanding of international policy, focusing on the United Nation’s Millennium Goals. “There’s those eight goals the world has to solve by 2015, and one of those goals deals with sustainability,” adding that he brought the students to this USB event so they better understand the time it takes and the payoff at the end of research. “It makes it easier for me to explain the benefits and opportunities down the road.”
Young also points out that the Ecotek program has a practical side of making sure the students understand that there is a tie to value creation. “Making sure they understand innovation really ensures that they understand that value creation is necessary and is tied to the sciences. The more you know, the more you control.”
You can hear more of Cindy’s interview with Keith here: Keith Young, Founder of Ecotek Lab
And you can see a video of the students’ bio-plastic and here some of them explain how it works here: Ecotek Lab Students Explaining Bio-plastic
Check out the photo album below and the SoyBiobased.org website as well.
2012 USB Biobased Products Stakeholders Workshop Photos