If you have a love for animals and/or an interest in the environment, Agriculture Science and Technology Academy (ASTA) may be the magnet school for you.
ASTA provides a hands-on, real-world education in the fields of Agribusiness, Animal and Plant Sciences, Agricultural Engineering, Environmental and Natural Resources, and Veterinary Medicine.
Students also have the opportunity to earn several certifications throughout their time at ASTA.
Freshman students start by taking Principles of Agriculture which helps them determine the direction they want to go at ASTA. All students are encouraged to join FFA, and must be an FFA member in order to participate in extracurricular activities such as exhibiting livestock, FFA teams, etc.
Most students choose to raise and exhibit a livestock project although it is not a requirement. They may also choose from a variety of activities that do not involve an animal such as FFA teams, science fair, horticulture project, agriculture mechanical project, or any other project that is approved by the campus.
“When you get here, you won’t want to leave,” said Principal Chad Bohlken. “When you attend here, you get practical field experience working with the animals or working in the greenhouse and aren’t sitting behind a desk all day long. You are learning practical life skills that will help you in life.”
“First thing we are going to teach our students is the confidence it takes to excel,” he added “We want students who are driven to succeed and have goals in mind.”
ASTA students also have the opportunity to participate in UIL sports and clubs within O’Connor High School and be a part of the OC Panther community and culture. More details can be found on the ASTA website.
The school will next host an open house for prospective students on Jan. 5 starting at 6:30 p.m.
Applications are open now through Jan. 14 for the 2022-2023 school year.