APES students explore ecosystems using ecocolumns

Saachi Kuchu

Vaughn Perez, Staff Reporter

Soda bottles are becoming ecocolumns as AP Environmental Science students are exploring how an ecosystem functions at a closer level within the classroom.

“Using two liter soda bottles they build three chambers to explore an aquatic biome with a fish, a decomposition chamber, and a ground level chamber where they can plant flowers and other little things they got from outside the school,” teacher Richard Sabatier said. “We will refer to these ecocolumns over the next few weeks to see how matter and energy is cycled through an ecosystem and look at any adaptations and all the biodiversity within the ecosystem.”

This class project allows students, like junior Avi Aggarwal, to get hands-on experience to research how an ecosystem works.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting my hands dirty with creating our ecocolumn as we went outside to collect different leaves and plants to include in different chambers,” Aggarwal said. “This is a really cool way to interact and learn more about ecosystems and I’m looking forward to the next few weeks when we check in on how it’s doing.”

With these ecocolumns, students are getting a front-row view to see what goes on outside in the real world everyday in the comfort of their classrooms.

“We get to explore the daily occurrences that happen within an ecosystem and how it affects different biomes and wildlife it interacts with,” junior David Liu said. “By making the ecocolumn, we get to inspect it at a closer level and chart all the small details we miss as this process happens around us outside of school.”