Twenty-eight minority high school students are on the Purdue University campus through Saturday (July 25) in a program that exposes them to educational and career opportunities in agriculture.

Most of the students in the two-week Purdue Agribusiness Science Academy, or PASA, are from northwest Indiana, and all have had limited or no direct connection to agriculture.

"The purpose of this program is to get them involved in learning about science, technology, engineering and math - the so-called STEM areas of education - in agriculture," said Myron McClure, assistant director of the College of Agriculture's Office of Multicultural Programs. "The program exposes students to the wide variety of career opportunities in the field of agricultural sciences that many students might not have known even existed."

Although the program is open to all high school students entering the 10th, 11th or 12th grades, McClure noted that the emphasis is on recruiting under-represented minorities in agriculture such as African-Americans.

The program consists of classroom instruction and laboratory work on campus three days a week and field-day trips twice weekly. Trips have included visits to program sponsor Dow AgroSciences, the Eiteljorg Museum, the Statehouse, the Indiana lieutenant governor and the director of the state Department of Agriculture, all in Indianapolis, and to Purdue sites such as Horticulture Park.

The group also will visit the operations of two other sponsors - Elanco in Greenfield and DuPont Pioneer in Tipton before the program ends.

More information about the program, including a video of McClure explaining it, is available at