AC begins STEM greenhouse construction
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Amarillo College recently began building a new greenhouse as part of a federal grant to boost science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM, programs.

The 12,000-square-foot greenhouse will provide room for labs and research for students in horticulture, biochemistry, environmental science and sustainable resource management.

The greenhouse will feature a root-imaging system, automated environmental controls, rainwater harvesting and other advanced technologies.

"The greenhouse will be a tremendous asset that offers cutting-edge, hands-on research to greatly enhance our students' classroom experiences," Gerek Burford, AC microbiologist and greenhouse director, said in a statement. "Our students will benefit immensely from this fantastic new facility."

The lab is covered by a $4.9 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Education. The grant is for STEM programs at Hispanic-serving institutions, according to AC.

Burford will work to create project-based studies for students taking STEM courses at AC and will help launch pilot courses.



Mike Smith is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. Contact him at, on Twitter at @newsmithm and on Facebook.