A warm dawn on Penobscot Bay — 64 degrees Fahrenheit at 6:46 a.m. on Nov. 7, 2022. An early November warm spell broke weather records across Maine over the weekend. Meteorologists say this is part of a climate change trend. Credit: Murray Carpenter / Maine Public

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As a senior in high school, I have experienced the Maine education system first-hand. Specifically pertaining to science, I have found a profound lack of education about our environment and climate change.

This subject may be taught in the later years of high school or at the AP level, but it is not taught soon enough, if at all, to our younger generation of students. In middle school, the studies of climate change and environmental studies should be just as prevalent and important as geology and anatomy. Climate change is far more relevant to our immediate world and needs to be addressed and taught at a younger level.

To get a more inside perspective on the lack of environmental education in schools, I spoke with my classmates and my younger brother, who currently attends a public middle school. The consensus of these conversations was all the same. If the students had not gone out of their way to take advanced classes such as AP Environmental Science, then they would have gained little to no education about climate change and the environment. They had gotten some basic understanding, but not much past “planting trees to save the world.”

This knowledge is not nearly as in-depth as what we are taught in other subjects. I believe this lack of good environmental education leads to misinformation about our world, climate skepticism and a lack of a well-rounded scientific education to prepare students for the world.

Zane Baker