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APES: A Class That Gets Involved

Elaine Vuong, Staff Writer

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There are many courses offered at AHS, but a particular AP class that pushes its students to get involved with society and the planet is none other than AP Environmental Science (APES). The course centers on the many problems the planet is facing due to its polluters— humans. APES enables students to learn the fundamentals to better our planet and to prevent further global warming. Not only is the class very informative, but it is also a hands-on class where you can actually save the world. APES does not only consist of lectures and worksheets but also watching educational videos such as The Lorax, reading, memorizing, taking selfies, labs, and service learning.

One of the essential parts of the class is service learning. Service learning accounts for 10% of the grades for APES students and in order to fulfill the requirement, a total of eight hours must be dedicated and a write-up must be turned in with documented signatures and pictures. Although the task may sound difficult, service learning helps the community out in ways that seem unimaginable for one person and is actually very enjoyable to do. One of the projects that students from AHS have helped complete was at Mulhall Elementary School, now known as the Jeff Seymour Family Center. AHS students had helped with weeding, planting shrubbery and trees, and painting the school’s walls with bright eco colors which not only emits a positive learning environment but reduces the surface temperature around the center. APES offers service learning to organizations such as Amigos de Los Rios and Heal the Bay. Junior Karen Thai explained how “APES gave [her] a chance to give back to the community while getting to spend time with friends.” The task may be strenuous, but the amount of experience gained from service learning, such as the smiles visitors make when seeing the renovation of the family center, make it all worth it.

As for inside the class, APES is made up of lectures, labs, and time with friends. There are usually weekly quizzes and lectures before the quizzes. For labs, students are put into groups and are given the assignment and instructions on the class website. Communication is key in APES, and even if you are not a strong socializer, your classmates will voluntarily help you if possible because in APES, the whole class is basically a family. Junior Samantha Chen described her experience in APES as “a great way to meet new people and learn about how to impede global warming because that’s becoming a serious issue even if it is not recognized as one by our government.”

All in all, APES is a fun and active class that gives students new perspectives on how we affect our planet. For those who are unsure whether or not to take the class, it is an amazing class that goes beyond lectures and tests and as someone who is in APES, I would highly recommend it!


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The World Is Our Campus
APES: A Class That Gets Involved