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The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas


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AP Environmental Science students brave the wild

John Bunker Sands Wetlands Center
AP Environmental Students walk along the John Bunker Sands Wetlands. On their annual field trip, APES students are aiming to extend their learning on water quality with hands on experience.

In the dry, flat-land that makes up most of Texas, it can be rare to come across any natural aquatic ecosystems. To get a taste of the real-deal, AP Environmental Science students are visiting the John Bunker Sands Wetland Center, a man-made wetlands site, on Wednesday and Friday.

According to AP Environmental Science teacher Jamie Berendt, this field trip will enhance their understanding of water quality, the topic they’re learning about in class. 

“Right now we are learning about water quality and the human impact on water quality,” Berendt said. “So, last week, we went down to the creek and we took several analytical tests on the water quality of the creek. And we looked also at biological factors like macroinvertebrates; these things all give an indication of the water quality. We’re going to go – tomorrow and Friday – to the wetlands and we’re gonna do essentially the same thing there.”

Due to DFW’s climate and geographic characteristics, there are no natural wetlands in the area. However, Berendt emphasized that the one they’re visiting pretty accurately performs a wetland’s regular functions. 

“A wetland is known for providing a lot of ecological services that we can use,” Berendt said. “DFW actually uses this man-made wetland to filter our water and return it back to Lavon Lake, so they use the natural processes of what wetlands actually do. All the plants [and] everything [else] that’s in there has some sort of role in cleaning the water. Like nitrates and phosphates are pollutants to us, but plants love those things so they take them up and out of the water, clean it, filter it, and then it gets pumped back to Lavon Lake and becomes a [part of the] drinking water supply.”

Sophomore Medha Pedaprolu is excited to reap the benefits of this unique learning experience. 

“This field trip is meant to encompass the whole meaning of APES; APES is all about how your actions as an individual will affect the environment for hundreds and thousands of people.” Pedaprolu said. “And I think seeing how the daily activities we do impact places like the wetlands is a valuable lesson.”  

Some students wouldn’t mind having these interactive learning experiences in other classes, too. 

“I think it’s really important to [gain] real-life skills [in your] classes,” senior Loman Cho said. “Especially accounting classes, I think those should be more emphasized. Because students generally lack knowledge about that and when you turn 18 you have to file your 401(k) and like your W-2 and I don’t think kids really know that they should do that.” 


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About the Contributor
Nidhi Thomas
Nidhi Thomas, Staff Reporter/Interactive Media Editor
Nidhi Thomas is a sophomore, and this will be her second year writing for Wingspan. She's super excited to officially be a member of the team and write a variety of stories this year. Outside of school, she enjoys playing the piano, experimenting with her creative writing, and ranting to her journal about her apparently "very interesting life."
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