Which high school courses should be mandatory?

With the increasing anxieties about what classes to take in order to impress that college we’re striving to attend, certain classes seem to rise above in importance to others. Yet this often pushes to one side courses that may actually be more significant in a student’s day-to-day life. Thus the question of what classes should be mandatory and elective come into play. In my opinion, Environmental Science should be a mandatory class for students, but in many schools, it is just an elective.

In my school, Environmental Science is an elective, and a relatively unpopular one at that. Yet it is one of the few classes that teach theories and facts that are directly relevant to every single one of us on Earth. No matter what ways in which we may differ, inhabiting this planet is something that we all share. Taking this elective was one of the best decisions I made in my high school career; I learned so many concepts that I wasn’t aware of before, and saw so many documentaries that really changed my perspective on how I want to live my life. We learned about broad topics, such as food systems, the atmosphere, global warming and the water cycle. However, the really incredible part was that all the topics we studied were connected, and each issue has the potential to vastly impact life on Earth, for better or for worse.

Lately the consequences of pollution and carelessness in regard to the environment are becoming more apparent, and it is becoming more and more clear that real action is needed. I believe that the more education that current and future generations have on environmental issues, the more able we can make ourselves in stopping the natural disasters that threaten Earth’s existence.

For all of these reasons, I believe that Environmental Science should be a mandatory class in all high schools rather than simply an elective. Without sufficient understanding of a situation, we cannot expect to solve problems. In the case of the environment, understanding is needed immediately before we can truly save the planet.