Tag Archives: APES

Application of Knowledge

I first learned to calculate energy consumption in Physics, and then a day later, I learned to calculate the cost of energy usage in AP Environmental Science. This kind of cross-learning is what I love about taking two science courses at the same time; being able to apply knowledge learned from one classroom to a concept in another class.

However, education system at my school actually encourages separation of these classes; most students only take one science at a time instead of taking a combination of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Environmental Science at the same time, even though they all correlate. While we have the ability to choose our classes, what we take is pretty much dictated prior to us choosing. When I signed up to take two sciences, I was first turned away and to come back if there are additional spots in the classes. High schools have to satisfy colleges by meeting the class requirements for a high school student, so they cannot guarantee double science or math classes until all students had satisfied the requirements.

Teachers expect us to hold on to what we learned from previous years, but come on, let’s be honest here. I hardly remember anything from Biology, my science class from freshman year, besides the basic photosynthesis/ respiration process and body systems, so it’s quite difficult to apply my dusty knowledge from that class to what I am learning now. By taking classes that overlap, it further cements the concepts into our minds, turning knowledge into wisdom, or application of knowledge. This is difficult to do so when you cannot remember what you learned years ago, or when you have not yet taken the class that teaches the information. Therefore, our school districts should consider investing in providing more classes so that students can choose to take a wider variety of classes at the same time.


Learning Outside the Classroom

Five days a week, seven hours a day, I am confined in a classroom and fed with information regurgitated by teachers. The same setting is quite discouraging, and it does not motivate me to pay attention. However, I was able to escape from the learning cage on the occasional field study trips for AP Environmental Science.


Continue reading Learning Outside the Classroom

Living on One Dollar a Day

My priciest meal throughout my dollar challenge: $0.54
(Mashed potato, $0.17; 1/2 an egg, $0.15; 2 slices of toast, $0.10; black beans, $0.12; salsa, free; tap water, free)

For seven days, I spent only a dollar on food each day, and I survived. The optional assignment was inspired by an article on CNN about a woman who did the dollar challenge for a year, and my AP Environmental Science edited it and shortened it to a week long so that it is school-appropriate and doesn’t anger overprotective parents. The dollar challenge allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of the lifestyles of impoverished people living in developing counties. In some countries, people earn an income of $370 a year, which estimates to around $1 to spend a day. Continue reading Living on One Dollar a Day

Creator of a Doomed World

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Soda bottles, plastic toy container, plastic tubing, hot glue gun, check. String of buttons, not-exactly-legally-obtained plants, dirt, and water, check. Tree frog, crickets, meal worms, flightless fruit flies, check. A complete biosphere, check.

For AP Environmental Science, my teacher assigned the class to design and build a biosphere made up of three biomes, sealed off completely. No matter can enter nor leave the biosphere until we open the project. After days of planning, buying materials, and constructing, our wetland, desert, and tropical rainforests were created. Continue reading Creator of a Doomed World