AP Environmental Science Review

By Josephine Nadolny, Staff Writer

Every year, new clubs, classes, and events hit the Quartz Hill campus, but it is not often that a new AP class makes the cut.  This year, however, Quartz Hill offered a new AP course: Environmental Science.

AP Environmental Science, also known as “APES,” is, unsurprisingly, the study of the natural world and all of the threats humans impose on it.  Now, while the class curriculum is mainly composed to inform students about our impending doom, it was surprisingly interesting and light-hearted.

At the beginning of the year, the APES students had no idea what to expect from the class.  It was Mrs. Barnett’s first year teaching the subject, and the class’ first year on campus. While the odds seemed to be out of the students’ favor, Mrs. Barnett did her best to make the class both interesting, interactive, and easy to understand. To many, the class seemed more like science camp than a grueling and tedious AP class.

APES student Michael Moussa said, “I was a little skeptical about the class at first. I really had no idea what to expect, but I ended up really enjoying it.  Mrs. Barnett worked really hard on setting up fun labs for us; you wouldn’t have known it was her first year teaching the subject. The material was really easy, the practice tests we did in class were way harder than the real thing.  I think that her way of teaching the class helped me retain the information for the test, she was super laid back and I never felt pressure or worry when reviewing for the test.”

Kevin Stephenson, an APES student, also said, “I went into the class not knowing what to expect, but I was pretty satisfied with the outcome.  The material was interesting, which helped, but the labs were definitely what kept me interested.”

After going through a year in this class myself, I have to agree with the statements from my classmates. The curriculum was rather simple and Mrs. Barnett did a fantastic job at teaching us without the added stress and pressure we get from most AP classes.  She was extremely flexible with the students’ busy schedules, and she finished what needed to be done.  The entire class went into the exam with high hopes, calmed nerves, and bottomless knowledge on rather unconventional topics.  While the final scores will not be released till summer, the APES class seemed rather confident in their performance.

Despite my qualms in the beginning, I would definitely recommend the class to incoming sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Not only does the class spread awareness on pivotal environmental issues, it also informs a future generation of adults on how to contain and repair these global concerns. This course is definitely one that should be familiar to all, as it pertains to curriculum across the globe and the future of civilization.