Summer horticulture camp unearths career options for students

Students beginning their junior and senior years at schools throughout HISD had an opportunity to get their hands dirty recently at a Horticulture Production Summer Camp.

The camp, which took place July 6–16 at the Hollingsworth Science Center, offered students the opportunity to broaden their perspective of the STEM terminology beyond science, technology, engineering and math. There are a vast number of subsets to STEM disciplines, and plants, their environments, and the benefits they provide to the human race and the planet are an important field and career choice.

Participating students gained knowledge of plant science and its application to the real world through exposure to the wide variety of careers available in the field. They visited the Houston Audubon Society and the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, and heard from keynote speakers ranging from environmentalists to the director of the Harris County Flood Control District.

“We are learning about horticulture, which is basically a branch of agriculture,” said Vedant Chopra, a rising junior at Bellaire HS. “It has to do with the science and technology behind growing plants.”

“Our hope is that it brings an awareness of the value of plants in our world beyond simply being aesthetically pleasing to view,” added Dr. Denise D. Johnson, director/laboratory team leader at the Hollingsworth Science Center Department.

The Hollingsworth Science Center provides free specimens to science teachers throughout the year and free plants to schools as they develop their school yard habitats.

The Horticulture Production Summer Camp was funded in part with residual monies from a donation by Grant Hollingsworth to the Hollingsworth Science Center.

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