Environmental science class returns to AHS

ALPENA — Alpena High School brought back an environmental science class this year for freshman so they can learn science in a different way.

“We’re moving towards a new direction to the next generation of science,” science teacher Melissa Doubek said. “The next generation will have more human impact and environmental influences for the students.”

Doubek said the students in the environmental science class have been collecting data outside because evidence is becoming more scientific.

“With getting scientific evidence, the students will have to do research and base arguments on the data they found,” Doubek said.

When the students are outside learning, they are learning what plants are around them.

Doubek and Director of Educational Options, Innovations, and Partnerships Matthew Poli worked together to bring the class back to the high school.

“We’ve been talking about it for years because we have the resources like NOAA and Wildlife Sanctuary right here in Alpena,” Poli said. “The class can really connect students with the outdoors and the Great Lakes.”

Poli said that with the great outdoors, it’s hard to not take advantage of it.

“We live and breathe it everyday so we should take advantage of the resources we have in Alpena,” Poli said.

Freshmen at the high school used to take a chemistry and physics class, but are now taking the environmental science class as their ninth grade science requirement.

“We’re still going to integrate both basic and applied chemistry in the class,” Doubek said. “The students are still going to learn why there are ions, protons, and electrons, so they are ready for the higher levels of science classes here.”

In the class, instead of taking notes first, the students are going to conduct experiments and complete observations.

“It’s to help construct their own learning,” Doubek said. “After they conduct the experiment and make their own observations, then they are provided with notes and terms.”

Doubek also said that learning this way drives the students to keep learning more.

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.