Getting away from chalkboards, textbooks and classroom structure is a real bonus for high school students. For some Sand Springs High School students, it's an important part of learning and planning the future.
Since school started about a month ago, students from Charles Page High School in Sand Springs have been learning about horticulture in the classroom. Paul Hoey, the high school agriculture teacher, has taught the students about plants and how they grow. Now, the students are measuring actual greenhouses in preparation of building their own. "They'll go back and figure out how much heating space they need to have and how many plants they can grow in a facility this large," said Hoey.
Hoey is a supporter of school-to-career. He believes his students and local businesses benefit when students get the chance to experience and have a small taste of a particular career. "It's a great avenue that gives them an opportunity to look at the different careers prior to making those final decisions," he said. Lori Steffy is considering horticulture as a career. She says it helps to decide by actually doing some of the work. "It's easier if you're out on the site actually than being in a classroom," she said.
The students find that identifying an azalea bush in a book and one among hundreds of other real plants is quite different. Hoey's students know that, too. "It gives us a chance to come out here in the real world and see what's going on," said senior Ryan Roberts. "There's some stuff we can learn out here that he can't teach us in the classroom very well."
Today won't be the last trip for Hoey's classes to Riddle's Plant Farm. The owners have given the teacher full access to their facility. The farm has hired Charles Page students in the past and hope some of the students who already have had some training might work out, too.