LAFAYETTE, La. — At St. Thomas More Catholic High in Lafayette, John Dupuis teaches six sections of Environmental Science. You learn about the earth, things in the water, you learn about dirt, you learn about compost. That -- and a whole lot more.
“What happened to our pumpkins this year?” asks Dupuis near the Cougars’ experimental garden behind the school. “Yeh, when the first frost hit, the pumpkins were gone, and so we know we need to have them in the ground earlier."
Dupuis says the ultimate goal of his class is to lay a foundation for his students.
“When they're making decisions, when they're buying homes, when they're establishing things, and when they are making those decisions, that they will remember in the background what they learned years ago in Environmental Science."
"Look at the top right there; you can see the top,” says Dupuis to a group of his students. “That’s because they're not crowded by a bunch of other carrots.”
Class for these seniors is in session, and John Dupuis is providing an ecological educational mix; some lessons inside the classroom, some outside the classroom.
“I ended up learning a lot more than I thought,” says senior Rhiannon Broussard.“I've learned how to mix vermiculite and soil,” adds senior Josh Billedeaux.“Aquaponics, where we can raise fish and grow plants and herbs at the same time,” continues Broussard. Billedeaux put it all in perspective.
"Everything we've learned in this class is what we need to do on this Earth to make sure it lasts as long as it can. We’ve got to protect our environment."
“What’s gonna happen is what's decomposing is going to take away the nutrients from the plant we're trying to work with, right?” offers Dupuis with yet another environmental question.
Both teacher and students agree, It's about learning now... and laying a foundation for later. There's also the ever-growing realization that This Earth is the only one we've got.
“We need to start taking action as soon as possible,” explains Broussard, “because we don't know when our climate and our environment might not go so well, so we need to start taking action so like planting in our own garden, it really makes a difference.”
Environmental Science at STM. Literally and figuratively, it's about planting seeds to create protectors of our planet.
“Anything that's gonna make them better stewards of the earth, that's what I'm going for.”
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