Middle school students learn about agriculture careers at WHC

While the school year may be drawing to a close, several middle school students from Avenal, Mendota and Kettleman City already know how they’ll be spending part of their summer: learning about a wide variety of agricultural careers at the West Hills College Coalinga Farm of the Future and putting themselves on the path to academic and career success.

As part of a camp sponsored by Wonderful Education, part of the Wonderful Company, approximately 80 incoming 8th grade students will explore career pathways including agriculture mechanics and plant science through fun, hands-on activities. The camp will run from June 11 to June 16 with students staying in the WHCC dorms to further enhance the experience.

“This camp is special because it helps students to find a career that fits them,” said Zach Soto, Coordinator of Special Grants and one of the program’s coordinators. “Considering that the Valley is 90 percent agriculture, exposing students to the many agriculture careers available gives them options.

Students from Avenal and Kettleman City will explore the field of plant science, including integrated pest management, soil science, and entomology. They’ll do everything from learning to drive a tractor to dissecting insects.

Mendota students will learn about agriculture mechanics and industrial maintenance, including land surveying and computer aided drafting, through hands-on projects such as building a toolbox.

Students will also learn about educational planning and choosing the right school or program for the career they want to pursue.

Students who complete the program will be guided toward taking classes relevant to agriculture mechanics or plant science as part of a career pathway program in the 8th grade and in high school. They’ll also be positioned to earn their associate’s degree or complete college general education requirements while in high school through dual credit coursework at West Hills College.

For more information on the program, contact Soto at (559) 934-2762.  

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