PSM grad students present turfgrass research to Michigan science teachers

Michigan State University Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences (PSM) Ph.D candidate Jackie “Jack” Guevara and master’s student Jacob Kilby gave a keynote address about turfgrass research at the Michigan Science Teachers Annual Conference.

The students engaged the teachers for more than an hour with their passion for the research and excitement about the FIFA World Cup 2026 project. Guevara spoke about her journey from high school science geek, to at the University of the Philippines, to MSU and her work in the Turfgrass research program to bring natural turf to FIFA World Cup fields in 2026. Kilby shared how his love of soccer with his skills in math and science are leading him to his dream job.

Both students got a warm welcome and a great response that started some conversations with Michigan high school teachers about how to blend MSU Turfgrass research with their classroom studies.

“This is perfect,” said a teacher as they approached Kilby after the talk. “I have a low-motivation student who really loves soccer.” The teacher spoke with Kilby about planning a Zoom meeting with her science class. Another teacher noted that her science unit about growing plants in controlled systems would be enhanced by this presentation.