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									                              TCE Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum




A Grassroots Campaign Evolves
Author: Sylvia Kniest
Editor: Stephanie Nardei

Time:         3-4 class periods
Preparation   Copy a class set of Trichlorethylene Factsheet
Time:         Copy Appendix A: Student worksheets
              Make a copy of selected websites for students
              Reserve the computer lab for two days
Materials:    Articles: Trichlorethylene Factsheet
              Student Worksheets (See Appendix A)
              Computer Lab




Abstract
This lessons series introduces students to local and federal
government agencies dealing with TCE in water supply in South
Tucson neighborhoods. They’ll see how people became aware of
problem and how a grassroots campaign evolved from local
community concerns.

Purpose
This explore lesson demonstrates the strength of community
involvement and how a difference can be made through a grassroots campaign.

Objectives
Students will be able to
    1. Identify government agencies responsible for maintaining a clean and safe environment.
    2. Explain effect TCE has on humans.
    3. Explain how community groups lobbied government agencies to resolve TCE
        contamination problems.

Arizona Social Studies Standards

Concept 3: Functions of Government
PO 4. Describe the regulatory functions of government pertaining to consumer protection,
environment, health, labor, transportation, and communication.
Concept 4: Rights, Responsibilities, and Roles of Citizenship
PO 4. Demonstrate the skills and knowledge (e.g., group problem solving, public speaking,
petitioning and protesting) needed to accomplish public purposes.

Teacher Background
This lesson builds on the information presented in the previous lesson, “A Story to Tell”. Students
will need to refer back to prior understanding in order to proceed in this lesson.

Related and Resource Websites
Trichlorethylene Factsheet http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts19.html
                           TCE Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum




Arizona Department of Environmental Quality http://www.azdeq.gov/
Environmental Protection Agency http://www.epa.gov/
EPA Superfund Report on Tucson International Airport Area
http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/r9sfdocw.nsf/560a2f570026781788256f0000092948/edd9fbc153
1a93b788257007005e9467!OpenDocument http://www.azdhs.gov/
Arizona Department of Health Services
Grassroots organizations:
Unified Community Action Board http://coep.pharmacy.arizona.edu/ucab.html
Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice http://www.sneej.org/land_use.htm
Grassroots victory: Childproofing our communities http://www.childproofing.org/

Activity
Introduce the lesson by having students read about TCE from the Trichlorethylene Factsheet
http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/tfacts19.html

Have students discuss the following questions in pairs:
     1. How did TCE get into the groundwater? List the businesses in the area having used the
         chemical and explain motivation for using this chemical.
     2. What is the correlation between side effects mentioned in the fact sheet and complaints
         by residents living in the affected community? Give specific examples from the articles in
         the previous lesson (Engage lesson).
     3. Identify government agencies mentioned in the article and explain specific actions they
         took regarding TCE.
     4. What can you do in your community to ensure that the government is working for you?
         How can you make sure that you are living in a safe and clean environment?
After the students have read and discussed the article with their partner have a class discussion
of the questions. Tell students that in this lesson they will investigate how various government
agencies and grassroots organizations worked to resolve the problem of TCE contamination of
wells in the South Tucson neighborhoods.

Part 1 Take students to the computer lab and give them a list of the websites to complete the
activity below:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/r9/sfund/r9sfdocw.nsf/560a2f570026781788256f0000092948/edd9fbc153
1a93b788257007005e9467!OpenDocument : EPA Superfund Report on Tucson International
Airport Area. Read the information provided on the website in order to answer the following
questions:
     1. How did TCE get into the groundwater and who are the responsible parties?
     2. Explain the role of government in dealing with this situation.
     3. What is the purpose of Superfund? What role did it have in dealing with TCE
         contamination in South Tucson?
     4. In what ways did the government promote community involvement? List supporting
         examples from the website.
     5. After exploring the superfund site are you satisfied with the response of the government?
         Should the government have done more to help the community? Explain.
After students have completed Part I, have a class discussion of questions #4 and #5. Tell them
that the next activity will address the role of government and community in dealing with
environmental concerns.

Part 2 The students will spend a second session in the computer lab investigating the following
agencies and grassroots organizations. Tell students to visit the following sites:
                           TCE Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum




Teachers Note: See Appendix A for an optional Student Worksheet for this activity.
http://www.azdeq.gov/ Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
http://www.epa.gov/ Environmental Protection Agency
http://www.azdhs.gov/ Arizona Department of Health Services
As students read they will record the following information on the each of the government
agencies:
     1. Name of Agency, purpose and when it was founded.
     2. What power and duties does it have to ensure that a community has clean water and/or
         lives in a healthy environment?
     3. How could this agency deal with the problem of contaminated water?
     4. What roadblocks might this agency encounter that would deter its ability to deal with the
         problem effectively?

Explore the following grassroots organizations at the following sites:
http://coep.pharmacy.arizona.edu/ucab.html Unified Community Action Board
http://www.sneej.org/land_use.htm Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice
http://www.childproofing.org/victories.htm Grassroots victory: Tucsonans for Clean Environment
Tell students to record the following information as they explore the sites:
     1. Identify the purpose of each organization and the date it was founded.
     2. Explain the membership breakdown of each organization: How many members? Who is
         involved? How are they involved; what activities do they engage in?
     3. Explain specifically how each organization dealt with the issue of TCE contamination of
         their community wells.
     4. In a paragraph describe what you believe was the most effective grassroots activity and
         why?


Closure
After students have completed their lab research have them respond to the following statement:

Government agencies would not be as motivated to deal with environmental problems if it were
not for the involvement of community and grassroots organizations.

Conduct the discussion using a fish bowl technique:
     Divide the class into three groups.
             I-members of government agencies, II- members of grassroots organizations and III-
             residents living in the neighborhood effected by TCE contamination.
     Have groups II and III form a circle with their desks and place group I on the inside of the
        circle. Instruct group I that they are to respond to the statement from the viewpoint of
        members of government agencies. Groups II and III are to observe the discussion and
        take notes of key points.
     Next have group II replace group I on the inside of the circle. Group II will discuss the
        questions from the viewpoint of members of grassroots organizations.
     Finally have group III replace group II and follow the same procedure.
**Note to Teacher: Remind students that the fishbowl discussion should include valid arguments
students found in the documents they have read. Students should also be reminded to play their
assigned role.

Close the activity by asking the class to consider the following questions:
                         TCE Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum




   1. What does a community need in order to ensure that the government is working for
      them?
   2. How can citizens become informed about the safety of their environment?
   3. What can they do if they have an individual concern? Is one voice strong enough to bring
      about change and raise awareness?
   4. What else can they do to raise awareness of an issue and stimulate interest?
   5. What are effective grassroots activities that encourage the community and/or government
      to take action?

Embedded Assessment
Students will be assessed on their computer research (Appendix A) and through their
participation in the class discussions.
                          TCE Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum




                          APPENDIX A- STUDENT WORKSHEET
                    Government Agencies and Grassroots Organizations

GOVERNMENT AGENCIES
http://www.azdeq.gov/ Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
http://www.epa.gov/ Environmental Protection Agency
http://www.azdhs.gov/ Arizona Department of Health Services

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS AGENCY:
1. Purpose and when it was founded:

2. What power and duties does it have to ensure that a community has clean water and/or lives
   in a healthy environment?

3. How could this agency deal with the problem of contaminated water?
4. What roadblocks might this agency encounter that would deter its ability to deal with the
   problem effectively?

ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY:
1. Purpose and when it was founded:

2. What power and duties does it have to ensure that a community has clean water and/or lives
   in a healthy environment?

3. How could this agency deal with the problem of contaminated water?


4. What roadblocks might this agency encounter that would deter its ability to deal with the
   problem effectively?

ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
   1. Purpose and when it was founded:

    2. What power and duties does it have to ensure that a community has clean water and/or
       lives in a healthy environment?

    3. How could this agency deal with the problem of contaminated water?

    4. What roadblocks might this agency encounter that would deter its ability to deal with the
       problem effectively?


GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS
http://coep.pharmacy.arizona.edu/ucab.html Unified Community Action Board
http://www.sneej.org/land_use.htm Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice
http://www.childproofing.org/victories.htm Grassroots victory: Tucsonans for Clean Environment
                          TCE Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum




UNIFIED COMMUNITY ACTION BOARD
   1. Identify the purpose of the organization and the date it was founded.

    2. Explain the membership breakdown of the organization: How many members? Who is
       involved? How are they involved; what activities do they engage in?

    3. Explain specifically the organization dealt with the issue of TCE contamination.

    4. What roadblocks might this agency encounter that would deter its ability to deal with the
       problem effectively?


SOUTHWEST NETWORK FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE
   1. Identify the purpose of the organization and the date it was founded.

    2. Explain the membership breakdown of the organization: How many members? Who is
       involved? How are they involved; what activities do they engage in?

    3. Explain specifically the organization dealt with the issue of TCE contamination.

    4. What roadblocks might this agency encounter that would deter its ability to deal with the
       problem effectively?


TUCSONANS FOR CLEAN ENVIRONMENT
   1. Identify the purpose of the organization and the date it was founded.

    2. Explain the membership breakdown of the organization: How many members? Who is
       involved? How are they involved; what activities do they engage in?

    3. Explain specifically the organization dealt with the issue of TCE contamination.

    4. What roadblocks might this agency encounter that would deter its ability to deal with the
       problem effectively?


Wrap-up Question: In a paragraph describe what you believe was the most effective grassroots
activity and why?

								
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