Central senior earns internship in China - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Central senior earns internship in China

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW)- Central High School senior Sophie Olson is about to begin an adventure of a lifetime. 

Friday, she'll graduate from Central High School. On June 7, she will begin an internship in China.

Olson was awarded one of 23 international internships from the World Food Prize.

She will spend eight weeks in Changsha, China at the National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center.  She will be studying hybrid rice plants in their growth and development.  Her specific project will be working on the construction of special vectors, which will be used for creating an early heading-date line to accelerate the process of rice breeding by transgenic technology.  She will also learn some basic molecular biology techniques in the lab as well as learn about sowing, raising seedlings, and transplanting the plants.

The Borlaug-Ruan Internship is a unique program that allows students to participate in projects with distinguished researchers at leading agricultural research centers around the globe. While getting a firsthand view of real and pressing food security issues and nutrition problems in poverty-stricken areas, the students become an integral part of a project, spending time in the lab as well as days or weeks at a time in the field conducting research and interviews, and gathering data.

Olson stated, "I want to gain a better understanding of the outside world and a better perspective on what the food crisis is.  I also hope to get a little cultural awakening out of it too.  I hope to learn a lot more about the scientific technique because I will be working partially in the lab and partially in the field with some rice farmers."

Olson returns from China in early August. In the fall, she will attend Wellesley College in Boston.

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