Montana State University

Montana 4-H'ers selected for MSU bioscience project

September 17, 2012 -- MSU News Service

A group of 4-H members participating in an NIH-funded project at Montana State University use blue dye to determine whether they are "supertasters." The hands-on bioscience module was developed by John Miller of MSU's Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
BOZEMAN - Thirty 4-H members from throughout Montana have been selected for BioScience Montana, through which they will conduct scientific research, learn about bioscience-related careers and collaborate via distance learning technologies.

The intensive yearlong experience is funded by the National Institutes of Health as a Science Education Partnership Award given to Montana State University.

BioScience Montana combines hands-on science with distance learning technologies to offer students experience in research with the aim that science uses that knowledge to solve problems and improve quality of life. Students will participate in three modules: neuroscience, infectious diseases and metabolomics.

The project kicked off with a weeklong campus experience, when 4-H'ers worked side-by-side with students from MSU and the University of Montana, as well as MSU faculty members Ed Dratz, John Miller and Jovanka Voyich-Kane. The program combines aspects of MSU's teaching, research and service missions and was developed by MSU Extended University, the 4-H Center for Youth Development, and the MSU Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience.

Participating students come from Cascade County, Lake County, Flathead County, Lewis and Clark County, Ravalli County, Sanders County and Toole County.
The Cascade County Team is led by Kathy Dunn, with participants Samantha Morris, Emily Berg, Hayden Broesder and Amanda Melton.

Lake and Flathead Counties have a combined team led by Tracey Wheeler, with participants Madisen Wheeler, Natalee Wheeler, Claudia Hewston and Ian Caltabiano.

The Sanders County Team is led by Rusty Kinkade and includes students Abby Croft, Josh Wulfekuhle, Logan Naegeli and Tyler Riffle.

The Toole County Team is led by Kristi Aklestad, with participants Riley Hellinger, Jacob Aklestad, Grace Aklestad and Hayley Fretheim.

Lewis and Clark County has two teams. One is led by Kristina Carlson and Marca Robbin Gibson and includes participants Holt Gibson, Elizabeth Carlson, Logan McNeil and Katie Merchen. A second is led by Crystal Bridges, with participants Katie Bridges Payne, Grace Freeman, Emma Carlson and Christopher Gransbery.

Ravalli County also has fielded two teams: One led by Wendi Fawns, with participants Chloe Solorzano, Zach Jones and Star Lange; and another team led by Holly Jones with participants Emily Jones, Alyssa Solorzano and Pamela Fawns.

For more information, visit

Contact: Carrie Benke, Montana 4-H, or (406) 994-4351.