This course contains five projects, plus a course introduction and course closure, that are organized around the following question: “How can we rethink our use of the world’s resources?” Each project involves investigations of sustainability that help contextualize the content required by the new College Board course framework.
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This AP Environmental Science class is intended to meet the same objectives as a first-year college-based course.
However, the method of instruction for this course is unique compared to similar courses because we have adopted
a project-based learning (PBL) approach. Although PBL may take many forms, our approach involves student
investigations and simulations that require students to think like scientists, policymakers, farmers, and other adults
in real-world settings. Teachers engage students in collaborative problem solving, argumentation, and deep
exploration of the concepts and principles of the discipline. The goal for student learning is understanding rather
than relying on rote memory to create meaningful learning and knowledge that is actionable, adaptive, and
This course will use a complex systems theory perspective to investigate how coupled human-environment systems interact to either increase or decrease their risk of collapse. This complex systems approach works across many disciplines, so that human-environment linkages can be understood from sociological, environmental science, and economic viewpoints.