The STAR center is the newest building on Strathmore’s high school campus since the 1960’s, according to Peterson. The modernized equipment and amenities are able to benefit the EAT programs in their various avenues of agriculture science. The two smaller labs even have large flumes for science projects where they can bring in plant tissue and soil samples and do analysis on them, according to Peterson. A great feature about the STAR center is its close proximity to the school’s 13 acre farm, according to Peterson.
“[The STAR center] is very close to our crop box, our greenhouses, aquaponics, and then all the various areas where we’ve got row crops, citrus, stone fruit and an area for animals,” Peterson said. “It’s just greater accessibility to all those things, and then they can come back in, bring things into the lab, take samples and do some analysis.”
Peterson said that the EAT pathway is an initiative of Porterville Unified School District, so students from all over the district can take part in Strathmore High’s program. Many schools in the county have traditional agriculture programs like school farms or Future Farmers of America. However, Peterson said that their pathway program is set apart since it is career-oriented with an emphasis on plant soil science and technologies.