This unit will attempt to allow students to explore the causes and effects of acid precipitation, relate this phenomena to their own lives and come up with possible solutions to the problem. It is my hope that this unit will empower students to make environmentally sound choices based on information that is relevant to their lives and experiences. The unit is designed for high- level juniors and seniors in an environmental science course, but the lessons can be easily adapted for other grades and ability levels. The progression of the unit is based upon building on layers of knowledge according to Bloom’s Taxonomy. The first stage is comprehension and basic understanding of the concept of pH, leading to the final stage, which is the synthesis and evaluation of a complex environmental issue.
- Students will be able to explain the pH scale and distinguish between acids and bases.
- Students will be able to explain the causes of acid precipitation
- Students will be able to determine and explain how acid precipitation affects ecosystems.
- Students will be able to describe the ‘history’ of acid rain
- Students will be able to describe how the problem of acid rain is a “global problem”
- Students will be able describe ways that the Environmental Protection Agency and other groups and companies are attempting to reduce the emissions that cause acid rain
- Students will be able to describe ways that acid precipitation affects the environment they live in
- Students will be able to describe ways in which they can help to solve the problem of acid rain in their own communities.
- Students will be able to evaluate the existing measures to reduce acid rain and devise schemes of their own.
This unit will closely follow the standards set forth by the New Haven Public Schools science curriculum. Under content standard 1.0 scientific inquiry this unit addresses four points.
- Students will be able to identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigation.
- Students will be able to design and conduct a controlled scientific investigation that will demonstrate the connection between a hypothesis and the design of an experiment
- Students will be able to use scientific criteria with alternative explanations and scientific models
- Students will be able to communicate effectively and defend scientific arguments in response to critical comments
This unit will also address the following standards set forth under section 3.0 life science:
- Students will be able to recognize the interdependence of living organisms and the environment
- Students will be able to discuss the impact of humans on the world’s ecosystems