Natural science labs help students get a feel for career opportunities

High school students in one of Lincoln Public Schools’ newest focus programs recently visited the University of Nebraska - Lincoln campus to participate in hands-on natural sciences labs ranging from herpetology (the study of amphibians and reptiles) to food science.

The Early College and Career STEM Pathways Focus Program is a partnership between LPS and UNL’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR). The program also known as FEWSS (Food, Water and Societal Systems) is housed at Northeast High School and is in its first year. 

“I learned that it would be great for the future. I really wanted to learn about how my impact now could impact the future for the better,” Northeast senior Deseray said.

“By hosting students twice annually on a college campus and engaging in hands-on learning experiences, we are developing an appreciation and understanding for the role agriculture and natural resources play in their daily lives,” Bailey Feit said. “In addition, the students improve their awareness of the diversity of career pathways aligned with agriculture and natural resources.”  Feit is the program’s coordinator. 

While on campus, students learned about reading nutrition labels, sustainable food practices, tracking animals in the wild and agriculture. The various activities helped expand their knowledge about future opportunities. 

“I wanted to explore different career pathways and what would be the right fit for me,” Northeast junior Devon said. 

“In college, I heard you are likely to change your major at least two times. So, having that experience in high school will help you save money and help you figure out what you want to do a lot faster,” Deseray added.

In addition to community and career development, student choice is at the heart of LPS focus programs – allowing students to explore their passions and jumpstart their futures. 

“In my classes, I like to give my students choices and they seem to engage better when they have those choices. So, giving them options and seeing these kinds of things available, I think they understand there are lots of opportunities out there,” Family Consumer Sciences teacher Julie Davisson said. 

Check out the highlights from the field trip below. 

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Published: November 30, 2022, Updated: November 30, 2022

Early College and Career STEM Pathways Focus students work on a food science lab.