AP Environmental science, commonly known as APES, is a college level science class available for juniors and seniors, taught by Mrs. Jamie Biel, designed to be a combination of multiple courses that target current environmental controversies.
According to peer tutor and previous student in the class, Ashtyn Bode, APES is an intensive, yet informative course.
“The main goal of APES is to inform our peers about why taking care of the environment is so important,” Bode said. “It’s really about increasing visibility of the APES program and the local issues we see every day.”
The class also counts for college credit.
“Not only is it college credit, but you get to have fun while being independent in a self- taught environment with a super supportive teacher! I am not actually pursuing a career in science but I do want to be a teacher,” Bode said. “I heard that Mrs. Biel is the perfect example of a supportive teacher, and I knew she would be a good role model.”
Biel has always been interested and immersed in nature.
“My love of nature bred a desire to protect our commons, and when I was given the opportunity to learn and teach about the science of it, I jumped at the chance,” Biel said.
Biel wishes for her students to be problem solvers and world changers.
“My goal is for my students to use empirical data to develop an understanding of global issues and to feel empowered to be the change they wish to see (thank you, Ghandi),” Biel stated. “Like Phillipe Cousteau (son of Jacque) said, ‘I want people to fall in love with the environment, because, at the end of the day, people will only protect what they love.’ I want my students to view issues from all perspectives and have empathy for each side. I hope my students will be brave enough to stand up for what they believe is right and to plant seeds of wisdom wherever they go.”
Because Biel has two children, she wants more students to be cognizant of their environment.
“I think it’s imperative to create opportunities for people to feel connected to nature for their own enjoyment and to encourage them to be aware of our role in preserving it for our happiness, economic stability, and for the future generations,” Biel said.
Biel states that the APES class is an eye-opening course.
“APES draws on chemistry, biology, ecology, resource management, economics, demographics, public policy on all levels, geology and natural history, climate science, waste management, human health hazards and innovative solutions to existing environmental and socioeconomic issues and sustainability and stewardship,” Biel said. “It’s incredibly important.”
Senior Emily Brunken says you have to be very involved in the class and interested in the environment.
“Mrs. Biel makes the class really interesting and interactive,” Brunken said. “It’s nice getting to learn what you can do to help.”
Mallory Bush says she encourages incoming juniors or seniors to take the class.
“It is important and also very intriguing to be educated on both the beauties and issues seen in our environment today,” Bush said.
Written by Camryn Horst