BRING THE ADIRONDACKS INTO YOUR CLASSROOM


ADIRONDACK CHALLENGES

Acid Rain & the Adirondacks: A Chemical Perspective
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Grade: 11th Grade
Class: Chemistry
Author: Shannon Hansen
NYS Content Area Standard:
Math, Science & Technology:
Standard 4: Science
Standard 6: Interconnectedness: Common Themes
NYS Interdisciplinary Standard:
Social Studies:
Civics, Citizenship and Government
Adirondack Curriculum Content Area:
Natural HistoryGovernment & Civics
Performance Indicators:

MST 4: Understand and apply scientific concepts, principles, and theories pertaining to the physical setting and living environment.

MST 6: Students will understand the relationships and common themes that connect math, science, and technology

SS #5: Students analyze issues at the local, state, and national levels and prescribe responses that promote the public interest or general welfare

Keywords: acid rain
The Challenge:
Investigative Question or Issue: What can citizens do about acid rain in the Adirondacks?
Context:

This task is designed to raise student awareness about the connection between science and politics. Before starting this unit, the teacher should collect examples of brochures, video clips, posters, handouts, articles from journals, letters, song lyrics, or political cartoons to show students the many ways that advocacy groups present their issue and views to the public and politicians.The teacher will also want to insure that students have ready access to the Internet for research and to something like MS Publisher or Word for the production of the written products of their choice.

The Challenge:

In a team of 2, create a pamphlet and a complimentary letter that is both informative and persuasive regarding the issue of acid rain and its impact on northern forests. Think of a local newspaper, a local politician, or a local organization as a potential audience for your product.

Procedures:

  • Provide students with the Student Handout and go over the directions.
  • Have students forms teams of two and provide them with several examples of political advocacy media that environmental groups have used to raise public awareness of environmental issues or to discuss the question: “What are the characteristics of an effective advocacy message regarding any important environmental issue?”
  • Each team should reach their own conclusions regarding these characteristics and make a list.
    • Conduct a discussion with the full class and create a master list of all the characteristics that can be agreed upon. This list will serve as part of your Product Quality Criteria for this challenge.
  • The products should meet the Quality Standards and include the characteristics of effective advocacy as determined by the class discussion.
    • Arrange for 2 days in the computer lab to access the Internet for research on acid rain and its impact. There should be appropriate software applications available should students choose to use these technologies to create their product.
  • The final product is due fully completed and ready for presentation to the class on ___________. At that time both co-authors should be prepared to respond to questions and defend their choices regarding any aspect of their work.
Related Files:
Example of Student Work
Example of Student Work
Quality Standards:

Advocacy Message (in letter and pamphlet):

  • Communicates in a way that is informative - contains at least 10 facts or pieces of information about acid rain that are scientifically verifiable.
  • Communicates in a way that is persuasive - expresses an opinion that is supported by convincing
  • evidence or argument.
  • Conforms to the criteria for a “Quality Advocacy Message” set in class.
  • Authors credentials are included.
  • Text is well written and basically free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Includes illustrations, graphs, or diagrams that are factually correct.
  • Specific law, policy, or ordinance is cited, if possible.
  • Calls for a specific action to take place
  • Research and computer lab time is used efficiently.
  • Challenge completed on time.
  • Both co-authors can respond to questions and defend choices regarding content/form of medium
  • adequately.
Product Quality Checklist
Print This Checklist
Standard/Criteria: Points Possible: Points Awarded:

 Advocacy Message: Letter & Pamphlet

  • Includes correct and specific details about the effects of Acid Rain
  • Communicates in a way that is informative
  • Contains at least 10 facts or pieces of information about acid rain t
  • Communicates in a way that is persuasive - expresses an opinion that is supported by convincing evidence or argument
  • Conforms to the criteria for a “Quality Advocacy Message” set in class
  • Includes your “cred
  • Text is well written, in appropriate format, and basically free of spelling and grammatical errors.
  • Includes illustrations, graphs, or diagrams that are factually correct.
  • Specific law, policy, or ordinance is cited, if possi

 Process

  • Research and computer lab time is used efficiently
  • Projects completed and handed in on time.
  • Co-authors can respond to questions and defend choices regarding content and form adequately

One teacher recommends this Challenge.

Sandra Hildreth said:
Northern Forest Partnership. While primarily a science challenge, it's interdisciplinary nature involves both creative art skills and encourages participation in government.