Environmental problems the focus of APES project

Solving+a+real+world+environmental+problems+is+the+focus+of+AP+environmental+science+classes+for+the+next+few+weeks.+Several+groups+are+going+beyond+the+campus+to+make+a+change.
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Environmental problems the focus of APES project

Solving a real world environmental problems is the focus of AP environmental science classes for the next few weeks. Several groups are going beyond the campus to make a change.

Solving a real world environmental problems is the focus of AP environmental science classes for the next few weeks. Several groups are going beyond the campus to make a change.

Lucas Barr

Solving a real world environmental problems is the focus of AP environmental science classes for the next few weeks. Several groups are going beyond the campus to make a change.

Lucas Barr

Lucas Barr

Solving a real world environmental problems is the focus of AP environmental science classes for the next few weeks. Several groups are going beyond the campus to make a change.

Lucas Barr, Editor-in-Chief

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Taking their AP exam Monday afternoon, AP Environmental Science students are now taking on a project to put their knowledge of the environment to bring change in the real world.

“There’s a lot of freedom given with this project,” AP Environmental Science teacher Jamie Berendt said. “The only requirement I have is that it has to be about an environmental problem and that the solution is actionable and attainable. We finish off the year feeling empowered, that we do make a difference, that what our decisions are on a daily basis can impact our community. They learn we can actually go even further and impact you know, maybe even governments or other people, our families, the other generations the way just changing some mindsets.”

Junior Hitha Rajesh was inspired by the project to take on the use of plastic bags used by grocery stores, a large component of the world’s plastic pollution.

“We’re trying to get companies such as Target, and Kroger and Walmart to reduce their plastic bags and like making reusable bags a cool thing,” Rajesh said. “The project helps us make an impact in our community. As we kind of just learned about everything, this project gives us a chance to like, implement what we’re learning throughout the year, how has it shaped your view of environmental issues and how you can take change.”

Recognizing the implications of pollution on ecology, junior Arsh Guntakal is also working to reduce plastic waste.

“Right now, we’re in a crisis this year in this what’s called the sixth mass extinction, which is caused by humans,” Guntakal said. “One of those things is we pollute the environment with our plastic waste, and that kills hundreds of thousands of marine animals every single day. That’s why, at least in my group, we’re focusing on reducing plastic usage, especially in a consumerist culture like the United States, we take for granted all the plastic bags we use, and we don’t understand the ramifications.”

Berend wants the project to help students realize the power they have when they set their minds on helping the environment.

“If they can just start conversations, conversations at school can lead to conversations at home,” Berendt said. “Conversations at home then leads to conversations at other workplaces and with other friends, and it just goes out further and further and further. That’s what I’ve been telling my students is, even if your impact feels small to you, it’s really larger than you know. It is much bigger than that and they need to realize.”