With the traditional method of education changing, Oromocto High School is offering students the opportunity to ditch the desk and get hands on with farming, robotics and engineering.
In September, the students built the aquaponics system, which is used to fertilize fruits and vegetable plants.
“It’s an age-old technique which has just been modernized to be convenient and to be right here in a classroom setting,” said Adam Weaver, a teacher at the high school.
Teachers say student Tyler Carr took the lead on the project and has emerged as an agricultural mastermind.
“I started researching and looking for ways to build an automated grow system to be able to have a sustainable resource that we can just use over and over and over again, and it just took off from there,” said Carr.
Principal Jeff Holder says attendance and the graduation rate have improved dramatically since the programs were introduced last year.
“Students seems happier when they are coming to school,” Holder said.
And with New Brunswick’s shrinking workforce, students say these programs are giving them employment options in the province.
“It really opened my eyes to different things that I could do and the way things work in the world and it just really helped me kind of decide on something to do next,” said student Mia Taverner.
Weaver said the age average age of farmers in the province is 56, “so there’s really not a whole lot of young people that are getting into the industry.
In fall 2020, the high school hopes to acquire a plane for an aerospace program.
“It’s not sitting in a classroom doing boring work, it’s something fun, and you can interact with it,” said Carr.