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Is fungus the answer to climate change? Student who grew a mushroom canoe says yes.

Central Community College
Ecovative Design
Super Fungi
Nebraska Mushroom
the National Science Foundation
Washington State University

Katy Ayers
Ash Gordon
Lauren Gillespie


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New York
Grand Island

Nebraska State Fair

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The New York Times
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The boat is still alive, which means it fruits — grows mushrooms — each time they take it out for a paddle.The successful mycelium canoe inspired Ayers and Gordon to experiment with making chairs, landscaping bricks and other items.Though it started as a hands-on learning opportunity for Ayers in the course of her collegiate studies, the canoe has also served as a quirky conduit for conversations about mushrooms.“It’s not just a piece of art, this is a functioning boat that works,” Gordon, 39, said. She’s part of Growing Pathways to STEM, a full-ride scholarship program funded by the National Science Foundation that aims to help low-income and underserved undergraduates studying science, technology, engineering and math.Ayers is leading one of the cohort’s main research projects: building bee hotels, small structures also called nests or homes, from mycelium.Inspired by research from Washington State University, which found that honeybees who consumed mycelium extract had lower levels of a harmful virus, Ayers and her classmates hope to better understand the effects of mycelium on Nebraska’s solitary bees.Though the community college closed all campus buildings in early April to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Ayers is keeping the project alive in her basement while taking online classes.In addition to her full-time course load, Ayers works as the community college’s sustainability intern, keeping tabs on energy use across the community college system’s seven campuses and centers.The internship, which Ayers has also been able to continue remotely, and self-led mushroom research projects are just the start: After graduating with an associate’s degree in science, Ayers plans to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology and, later, a doctorate in mycology.And after that?

As said here by Sarah Kuta