PRO/CON: Are the annual APES project accomplishing enough?
March 25, 2015
Are the annual APES campaigns accomplishing enough? Vote down below!
In life, the process of something is often more important than the results. This is based on the idea that, unlike results, a process is repeatable, measureable, and most importantly, improvable. For high school students in the midst of acquiring knowledge needed to obtain success into the real world, the annual AP Environmental Science projects are the perfect assignments for teaching students the process of running a campaign, influencing the public, and making change all while relating to the environmental conservation subject at hand.
Critics of the project focus mainly on the seemingly low fruition rate of the APES projects that occur every year. They tend to view incomplete projects as a letdown to the school’s population and incorrectly assume that the main purpose of the assignment is to create an immediate impact beneficial towards our environment. The people with this perspective don’t understand what the APES project is about nor do they realize how environmental conservation truly works.
First let us start with what it means to make an environmental impact. When dealing with conservation, the main objective is to spread awareness and educate people about a certain problem in order to achieve positive results. Small-scale projects carried out in small areas don’t necessarily help a conservation effort as effectively as promoting the cause of a project to the general population. The goal of an environmental project is to create a domino effect for more and more individuals to realize that the environment matters, not so that project undertakers can save a miniscule amount of natural resources that is practically negligible compared to the amount we lose everyday.
In addition, those who believe that a failed project results in a failed learning experience don’t realize the extent of work done by the students for the assignment. The APES project itself isn’t so simple as just a proposal followed by a halfhearted attempt to complete the environmental undertaking. For every major project like SolarShade, students complete page after page of research ranging from in-depth descriptions of critical environmental problems to project benefits and the positive impact a conservation project can have on the future. Consequently, students are learning about environmental science in a way that is much more practical than listening to lectures on and on throughout the day.
In the end, a project as complex as building solar panels in the school parking lot might not carry through to completion. However, the students will have learned a vast amount of information on the eco-friendliness of solar panels. This combined with the experienced they gained campaigning to promote a cause guarantees that they can try again as adults. While some APES projects ultimately might not succeed, the process will definitely stay permanent throughout a student’s life and guarantee the possibility of environmental conservation spreading past the boundaries of our school grounds and into our future.