Learning is something we all have to do, but would you rather learn cooped up in a classroom with your hand cramped taking notes or in the great outdoors doing hands-on activities? I think any kid would pick the second option. In early May, 1,500 area sixth-graders participated in the annual St. Louis River Quest. Kids learned about preventing pollution, hypothermia, hydroelectric power, invasive species, and the balance of our ecosystem (Former Student's View: "A day on the water can change an entire life," May 10).

I am a high school junior, and as a kid I was never taught environmental skills. I never knew much about pollution prevention or our deteriorating atmosphere. With our climbing population shouldn't all kids know about our increasing problems with invasive species, pollution, and global warming? Schools should make it mandatory to give hands-on experiences of our environment. Today, most teachers never teach kids about climate change, pollution, or conservation because it isn't part of the school's curriculum. This needs to change.

Even a once-a-week environmental class could improve our larger world. This engagement of students in real-world problems could transcend classroom walls. It would help teach the relevance of global warming and normalize the conservation of our planet. When people start to gain a better understanding and connection to the planet, we will begin to see changes.

Lucy Sinkkonen

Cloquet