For the first time at Andover High School a course is being offered to students providing internships and real world experience.
Thanks to a new course, students can help the environment in more ways than simply recycling in the cafeteria. (Photo by Marisa Dellatto)
Thanks to a new course, students can help the environment in more ways than simply recycling in the cafeteria. (Photo by Marisa Dellatto)

The Environmental Science Internship Course (ESIC) is a pilot class offering a mix of in and out of school course work. Monday and Wednesday, students leave school to go work on a project at their assigned internships. Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, students are in school working on their projects and learning about issues pertaining to the environmental science field, according to course teacher Melanie Cutler.

At the beginning of the course, students went through days of “speed interviews,” during which mentors quickly sat down with students. Students were assigned mentors and projects within the environmental field based on these interviews and their interests. Nowadays, students are out in the field accomplishing “real work experience.”

“I potentially want to work in Environmental Science,” said senior and class member Jenny Hill. “This was a good way to see if I like the field.”

Students are working on a wide array of projects within the field of Environmental Science. Hill was partnered with Bob Douglas and the Conservation Department of the Town Offices. Her project consists of creating a management plan of 25 acres of land and dealing with endangered species, according to Hill.  Senior Stephanie Iglesias was paired with Brad Weeden, member of the Bancroft Elementary School PTO. She will be working on various projects to educate elementary school students within the town about recycling, according to Iglesias. Senior Stephen Kimball was paired with Cutler, who wears two hats as both class teacher and mentor. He will be working at AHS on recycling and composting management, according to both Kimball and Cutler.

This Saturday, October 5, the Andover Recycling Committee in partnership with the MBTA will be sponsoring a Community Recycling Event. This event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brickstone Square…

“I wanted to put my previous knowledge to use in the real world,” said Iglesias.

This is just one of the many new ways for members of the Andover community to become involved in “green” activities. This Saturday, October 5, the Andover Recycling Committee in partnership with the MBTA will be sponsoring a Community Recycling Event. This event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Brickstone Square here in town. Members of all surrounding communities are welcome to bring by items difficult to recycle and get rid of. This is the MBTA’s eighth “drive through recycling event.” According to a press release, all items collected will be “dismantled off-site for recycling resulting in zero land fill impact.”

“Resources will run out quicker than people think, so it’s important for people to think in an environmentally friendly way,” said Kimball.

Hill agreed: “Since we’re the up and coming generation, if we try to get involved now the habit will already be forged [when we’re older]”.

Not only is this class groundbreaking from an environmental standpoint, it is the first “career oriented” course at AHS.

“At Andover High School, there are no job skills classes where students are able to learn things in the real world,” said Cutler.

It is possible that classes with this similar structure will be available in other disciplines in the near future, according to Cutler.

“It takes way more organizing than a normal class,” said Cutler. Both Ms. Sonntag and Mr. Fink have “put in a lot of hours” helping Cutler with this course.

“It’s a great idea to have in ever discipline,” said Cutler. “But it can’t take the place of a single teacher course load.”

By Marisa Dellatto