ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - Students at an Albuquerque charter school are getting hands on learning as part of a project with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Rio Grande Silvery Minnow Sanctuary, a facility to help grow the population of the endangered fish.
The students from ACE High school were asked to build bridges and kiosks for the outdoor outreach education center. At ACE kids are taught core subjects through three principals, architecture, construction and engineering, making them perfect for this project.
The students not only designed the structures, they were also responsible for buying materials at the best price and making sure they adhere to all state building requirements. The students then assembled the structures over several days with the supervision of a foreman, from their own class.
While the students are learning math, and engineering through the actual build. They also had to research the history and habitat of the silvery minnow, learning biology in the process.
"It makes biology seem so much more important if they know this is to help the U.S. Fish and Wildlife protect a federally protected species." says teacher Robert Shauger
The students at ACE aren't typical students, they're kids who have struggled learning in the typical classroom setting.
Senior Jesse Campbell says he likely would have dropped out had it not been for ACE High School. He says learning like this helps keep him motivated and wanting to advance his education. He's also looking forward to getting a job in the construction field after graduation.
"You can look back and say I built that, you know. You accomplished something" says Campbell
Other students at ACE are former drop outs who have come back to school to get their degree.
The U.S.Fish & Wildlife service plans to continue educational programs like this one. They are currently talking with APS about incorporating it into their schools. So far they have only worked with charter schools.
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