Environmental Science students ready for Earth Day

Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-20 19:44:48-04

This Sunday, events will be held around the world in honor of Earth Day.

The holiday brings awareness to environmental issues, and we met with some members of the younger generation to talk about climate change. 

We visited with students in the Environmental Sciences Academy at Lafayette Middle School. 

"My sixth graders, when I first bring up the subject, I can’t tell it’s most how their family feels as opposed to as their own individuals. But the time they’re in 8th grade they have their own opinions on it," says David Kent, a teacher at the academy. 

Kent uses his role an environmental science teacher to start conversations about climate change and the potential impacts. One example: hurricanes. Some experts believe climate change leads to fewer but more powerful storms.

"And so we go over hurricane preparedness. Let them know the best thing to do is to evacuate," Kent says. "And, then we monitor. We plot coordinates."

Kent first introduces the theory of climate change through scientific mechanisms. Then he makes is relatable to students by talking about climate events they’ve lived through." 

"Two years ago in 2016 we had a massive flood in Youngsville where I live,"" says seventh grader Alton Lewing. "And, a bunch of houses got destroyed. The floors got ruined. They all got flooded. And, we had a lot of damage to recover from." 

Alton believes that climate change may have played a role. 

"Because of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the water is evaporating twice as fast as usual. Which is filling the clouds with more water vapor faster than they should. So, that’s giving us more rain than usual," Lewing explains. 

One student is taking lessons learned in Kent’s class to help her family reduce their carbon footprint.

"Sometimes whenever my mom straightens her hair and she keeps it plugged whenever she’s not using it. I have to unplug it. And, I have to remind her everyday because it takes up too much electricity," says sixth grader Naomi Berry. 

She’s learned that every individual can make a difference. 

"When I get older what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna do my whole house, I’m gonna have solar panels everywhere. I’m gonna have lunar panels too for at night," she says. 

Lafayette Middle School will host its annual Earth Day Celebration on Saturday May 5. It’s open to the public and lasts from noon until 4 p.m. at the school on University Avenue.