Stump, K.E.1
1Natural Resources Agent, University of Florida, Kissimmee, FL, 34744


Osceola County is a diverse and rapidly developing county. Youth from urbanized areas of the county have little exposure to the area’s natural resources or possible environmental career paths. The purpose of the Teen Green program is to introduce high school youth from under-represented backgrounds to environmental professions. The measurable objectives were: 1) to increase their knowledge about soil, water, and plant science principles by 70% in a fun and interactive way that will spark their interest in environmental careers; and 2) Increase their knowledge about environmental professions by 50%. The 3-day workshop incorporated a variety of educational methods including labs, lectures, tours, and hands-on games. They collected soil and water samples, conducted water quality analysis, analyzed soil for texture and pH, and created landscape design blueprints. In addition, the youth toured the University of Florida Mid-Florida Research and Education Center where they explored labs, learned how to take plant cuttings, and received resources for alternative higher education paths. This is critical, as many of the youth do not have the resources to attend a traditional 4-year University immediately after graduation. Twelve high school-aged youth attended the 3-day workshop. The program was evaluated with a pre- and post-test to measure average knowledge gain. The students (n=12) increased their knowledge about soil and water sciences by 84% and their knowledge about natural resources career paths by 52%. In addition, 67% (n=12) of attendees reported that they are very likely or somewhat likely to pursue a career in natural resources after attending the workshop. By connecting youth to their environment, they are exposed to new topics and potential career paths that will impact their economic stability and well-being while protecting the environment.  

All Accepted Posters