When Gil Leal took AP Environmental Science in his junior year of high school, he was surprised by how different it was from his other AP classes. Instead of spending the bulk of the time sitting through lectures, taking notes, and studying abstract texts, his class visited a strawberry farm in the valley nearby.
It wasn’t just for a tour. Leal and his peers were tasked with thinking about the many challenges that modern farms confront, from water shortages to pest infestations and erosion. More surprising to Leal: Students were asked to design their own solutions, incorporating what they had learned about things like soil composition, ecosystem dynamics, and irrigation systems. read more