OUHSD adds outdoor science program

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The Oxnard Union High School District board recently approved a new after-school program led by environmental scientists and engineers.

The district plans to offer the 12-week mentorship program, to be held at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme, to up to 20 of its high school students in the fall.

“The students are going to be exposed to a variety of skill sets they would need to go into the different fields of environmental science,” said Nathan Inouye, a learning design coach for the district.

“The hope is students would better understand what the job entails and what it takes to go into that field.”

Inouye said the goal of the enrichment program is to help students find a career path that suits their strengths and interests.

“We’re hoping to provide an opportunity for more students to have a direction after high school,” he said. “If they can’t see a connection between what they’re learning in the classroom and their future, they sort of tune out in school, and we see higher dropout rates.”

As part of a nationwide effort by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide educational opportunities for high school students in the fields of science and technology, the naval base will mentor the students at no charge to the district.

Four other enrichment programs— in engineering, law enforcement, construction and trade logistics—are offered by the district in partnership with local agencies.

“We can’t expect that every student is going to be a perfect fit for every career program we offer, but part of the process is to explore and get students involved in something that they are going to enjoy so they aren’t stuck later on in a career doing something they don’t want to do,” Inouye said.

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