A class where the curriculum surpasses the extent of just teaching textbook facts actually helps students learn and grow from all it has to offer. Here on the DSHS campus, the AP Environmental Science class, run by teacher Jamie Biel, is doing a project in which the students have aimed to increase the amount of recycling done at the school as well as making the process of it more efficient. Not only has it been regarded as a success but the students remark that they love every bit of it and are happy that they can engage in something that they’re passionate about.
The students are assigned a yearlong project, the Stewardship project, and are asked to do implement and design something that will positively influence the environment and the community. It’s definitely something that requires a dedication according to the students.
“Before our project started, the custodians were in charge of emptying the blue bins in the hallway,” Biel said. “And our Life Skills class would collect recycling from the teacher workrooms and the offices. But the teachers themselves had the responsibility of taking their recycling, if they chose to recycle, and finding a bin in the hallway. “
Unfortunately, most teachers either didn’t want to make this effort, couldn’t, or were unaware. This caused recycling in the school to be at a not so impressive number and influenced the AP Environmental students to want to make a change.
“When you look up the facts about recycling, there’s few people that actually take care of it, “ Senior Jessica Vaughan said. “So recycling was a way for us to make a difference.”
However recycling paper wasn’t all they tackled, a smaller group of these students also took on the task of sorting out the recycling of batteries in the school as well.
“We had a really big [paper] recycling group so we wanted to look for another opportunity to help out,” Senior Hannah Moore said. “We wanted to do something different and we felt like battery recycling was something really needed at our school.”
They have already collected five car batteries and about a hundred normal batteries. The students plan on expanding this number in the months following their initial start. They also want to spread this idea of helping the planet and community through the school.
“I made a promotional video that right now we’re trying to get up on the announcements, “ Vaughan said. “And other than that, we have sent out various emails to teachers saying ‘hey, if you do this, we can come pick it up on these days and these times.’ We’ve also distributed boxes to teachers that didn’t have them, so their students can also start recycling.”
From encouraging teachers to start recycling, to helping guide the people in the community in recycling, the AP Environmental students are clear in their views of wanting to change the way the world looks at recycling. According to statistics, the many projects around the globe which attempt to increase environmentally-friendly efforts have made little impact. These DSHS students are ready to be the change they wish to see in the world.