Teaching must be creative, flexible and objective in the area of subject content. Creativity must be utilized as a tool to get the student's attention. Once the teacher has the student's attention, then it is important that the lesson is meaningful to the student. This unit incorporates the use of multiple intelligence, learning across the curriculum and interdisciplinary lessons. It utilizes problem solving, ecology, ecosystems as the topics to generate spatial assessment to mathematical data.
Many students do not have confidence in their academic ability to succeed. Through presenting the content in a multiple approach, with different assessment tools they will work and gradually build their confidence through success. Meaningful lessons are those that utilize real world problems, applications and solutions, as a means of satisfying the curriculum. The unit addresses the curriculum in the mathematical content area through problem solving, measurement, graphing, percents and probability. This also helps the student answer the question how will I use this? The lessons are from different content areas, yet sharing a common theme. They will address the when, how and why for the student through exploration.
The lessons are created for the mathematical and science content areas through interdisciplinary units with the science teacher. The students learn how to make decisions from the environmental, economical, and social aspects. They will use statistics as a barometer and try to determine the effects of the complete decision process. They will begin to understand how decisions big and small impact the community, and the community at large.
What are the components of environment?
The lesson's objectives are to provide an understanding of the relationship of individuals and their environment. The method being used is first from the science background of research concerning a public issue. The issue to be discussed is air quality. Students will have an opportunity to understand the cause and effect of decisions made on an economical basis. Economical and environmental trade-off are an essential part of how our resources are used . From these lessons they should become more empowered to help effect changes, regardless of how small.
Students will explore land use through literature, magazines, newspapers, and computers for current information. Determine the land boundaries of New Haven. Collect data concerning; population, land usage: recreational, residential, commercial; watershed location, air quality.
The aspect of air is through data collection and interpretation of Federal and State guidelines; the Clean Air Act. Learn the allowable emissions and guidelines to determine clear air. Determine what are some of the dangerous toxins that travel through air. Understanding how toxins can effect water quality and uses. Ultimately providing the student with information, skills and the ability to make informed decisions and act accordingly.
Air is the part of the environment the student will study. The idea is to understand the importance of air and it's relationship to life on earth. The major focus will be understanding problem solving through researching the environment and the importance of limited resource utilization.
The student should formulate opinions through hypothesis they can test by themselves and/or by groups. The conjectures allow the student a methodical tool for proving or disproving their work. Once the students learn this method they can employ it in any content area. A method of learning is through hands on activities; The students will collect data on different topics to compare and form a collaborative work. They will have an opportunity to play the computer game SIM CITY, which allows them to control the needs and development of a community. Making graphs and using the graphs as visual representation to help understand the information. The student should develop a better understanding of their environment, and how many things in it are interrelated.
The science teacher will provide the student with an understanding of the nitrogen cycle and various experiments with plants and conditions needed to grow ( refer to Maureen Taylor's paper). That will allow addition opportunities to utilize multiple exposure to the topic and related topics.
The language emphasis is logical written and oral expressions. However, it must provide enough diversity of comprehension for the majority to succeed. Possibilities are posters, booklet, fact sheets that include graphs, survey of school and the community at large input. The survey topics, questions, methods of completing are to be designed by the student. The assessment tool for this unit is limitless.
One form of assessment is an end of the unit project that incorporates an interdisciplinary theme. That project shows the student as a land developer, who had just received 100 acres of land to develop a new community. This land has a fresh water stream which runs completely down the center of the property. At the northwestern edge is an osprey nesting ground. The student must decide how to build the community determine the environmental issues to be must addressed and find solutions. The class or teacher can decide what type of zoning and environmental issues should be addressed.
The objective for this curriculum unit, is to develop the skills necessary to make informed decisions about the environment using problem solving techniques. Once the student begins to understand the environment, they will learn to control their environment. Each student must be taught how contamination of air, water and land can lead to environmental exposures.
First I intend to discuss the Clean Air Act is a Federal regulation that requires each state to meet or exceed the government standard for allowable toxins and allowable amounts of said toxins. Each state is responsible to meet or exceed the federal government's recommendations for clean air. This is done through State Implementation Plans (SIPs) that explain how each state will do its job under the Clean Air Act. SIPs are a collection of the regulations state will use to clean up polluted areas.
Second I will consider energy deregulation. Connecticut has adopted the strongest environmental protection provisions of any state energy deregulation law. The new law includes the following measures and were recommended by Council on Environmental Quality:
-- within the next ten years, at least six percent of electricity sold in Connecticut will be derived from renewable sources and fuel cells (not counting new hydroelectric, or water-powered, plants).
--Customers will be charged 0.3 cents per kilowatt-hour to fund energy efficiency improvements, fund will be used to help develop renewable energy businesses in Connecticut
--The General Assembly tied future electric sales to specific air pollution emission levels that will take effect if a significant number of other northeastern states adopt similar provisions.
The effect of deregulation in the public electric utility industry was immediate, with companies proposing to build new gas-fueled power plants. Some have designs that would consume several million gallons of water daily, which they propose to buy from water utilities. Some proposals involve transfer of water between watersheds. This has highlighted Connecticut's deficiencies in water allocation policy.
Connecticut's proposed action for 1999 deals with Fuel Cell production and utilization, the Department of Public Utility Control's vision of public interests, so that utilities are not required to sell undeveloped land. Many of the parcels of land are waterfront lands that are critical open spaces in their communities. The state should look at awarding double credit toward renewable energy requirements to fuel cells that consume methane from landfill. Fuel cells, that produce electricity with minimal emissions.