Environmental science is a fast-growing field and is expected to accelerate even more in the next decade thanks to corporate emphasis and new demands. Average annual for someone in the field of environmental science – about $67,000.
A dedicated teacher and group of students at Little Rock’s J.A. Fair magnet high school are looking to capitalize on the trend. They have taken their curriculum outside of the 4 walls of a traditional classroom.
Their new classroom incorporates a greenhouse, a garden, a fish pond, nature trails and a wetlands area. It’s a pretty big classroom that gives students hands-on experience in real world projects.
The program has evolved under the guidance of teacher and coach Dennis Troutman.
For the past several years he and his students have expanded the program to include everything from raising tilapia in a fish farm to maintaining a beautiful 1.2 campus nature trail than runs by Fourche Creek.
In addition to a two-acre garden where students raise seasonal vegetables, Troutman and his students have planted 3,000 sq. feet of flower, fruit trees, and native plant beds around the campus. The beds are designed to attract butterflies and birds which students learn to identify for their Environmental Science curriculum.
The most ambitious of Coach Troutman’s endeavors has been a hugely successful student run greenhouse seedling operation for vegetables. Here all varieties of vegetables are started from seed and as they mature, the seedlings are transferred to gallon cans. Those cans are then either given away to charities or sold for as little as 15 cents or a quarter.
Learn more about this unique program in the video below.