Skip to main content

Loyola Faculty receive BLOOME Award


The School of Education at Loyola University of Chicago congratulates Drs. Mike Grillo (Assistant Professor in Biology) & Lara Smetana (Associate Professor in the School of Education) on their Plant Biology Learning Objectives, Outreach Materials & Education (BLOOME) Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists for their project, The legume-rhizobium mutualism: A model for inquiry in the classroom. [1-year, $45,000]

Through this project, teachers will gain hands-on research experience in Dr. Grillo’s lab studying plant-microbe interactions and exploring the critical role plants play in sustaining functional ecosystems in changing environments and the importance of plants for the sustainable production of medicine, food, fibers, and fuels. Using legume-rhizobium interactions as a model, teachers then work with Dr. Smetana to collaboratively develop, implement, and revise instructional materials to complement their high school biology curriculum. Finally, teachers share their expertise by leading professional development workshops for fellow high school biology teachers across the country. This project greatly benefits from partnership with the Loyola University of Chicago (LUC) Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, which is directed by Smetana. For more information on this project, please contact Dr. Smetana (lsmetana@luc.edu).