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Industrialization of the American Landscape -
Chemistry Lessons


Big Idea
Nuclear reactions release energy without the combustion products of burning fuels, but the radioactivity of fuels and by-products poses other risks, which may last for thousands of years.  
Essential Question
Is nuclear energy the fuel of the future?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

Reactor Incident
Students are introduced to Chernobyl incident and the resulting environmental health impacts.

1. Articulate the environmental health impacts of Chernobyl in a class discussion

2. Describe the general background and events surrounding the Chernobyl incident

Week 1

1 class period
Explore

Radioactive Isotopes
Students explore three different isotopes that were released into the atmosphere as a result of the Chernobyl incident and contaminated numerous parts of Europe. This lesson can be done alongside the math lessons to provide students with a fuller picture.

1. Describe an isotope and radioactive isotope

2. Describe the health effects of the following: Cesium 137, Iodine 131 and
Strontium 90


3. Describe how a specific country or region was affected by radioactive contamination

Week 1

1 class period
Explain

Radiation Experiments
Through inquiry, the students will learn the difference between types of ionizing radiation and how elements are transmuted.

Students will measure alpha, beta and gamma radiation.

Week 1

2 class periods
Apply

Toxic Milk Return
Chart the decay series and health hazards of a number of radioactive isotopes.
Study the fission process.
U 335
Cs 137

I 131

Use conservation of matter law to identify and explain the by-products of nuclear reactions and to balance nuclear reactions.

Week 1

1 class period
Project

Our Future – Nuclear Power
Nuclear power will guarantee our future

Demonstrate an understanding of both risks and advantages to nuclear power

Week 2

1 class period

Top

Big Idea
The combustion of fossil fuels increases the mass of carbon dioxide in the air. This may lead to global warming.
Essential Question

Can fossil fuels provide a safe fuel for the future?

Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

Energy Debate – Global Warming
Following their study of Chernobyl and radioactivity, it is possible your students think fossil fuels are a safer source of energy than nuclear power.

Describe what global warming is, what causes global warming and the impact to our world.

Week 2

1 class period
Explore

Energy of a peanut
Students will learn that a tiny peanut contains stored chemical energy. When we eat them, the stored energy is converted by our bodies so we can do work. We can also use the energy in a peanut to heat a container of water.

1. Articulate the difference between the terms heat and temperature

2. Calculate the amount of energy associated with a given temperature rise

3. Design an experiment to measure the energy of a fuel

Week 2

2 class period
Explain

Combustion reactions
Students need to understand how carbon dioxide is formed when fossil fuels are burnt; when they react with oxygen.

1. write a balanced chemical equation.

2. Articulate how burning fossil fuels increase the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Week 2

2 class period
Apply

Energy Debate –Sea Level Rise
Global warming will cause the eventual melting of the ice caps in Antarctica and the Arctic. This will cause sea level rises of 10 meters, 30 meters and finally 60 meters.

1. Understand the impact of global warming on our coastal cities.

2. Appreciate how geographic information systems can be used to represent scientific data.

Week 3

1 class period
Project

Energy Debate –Conclusion
Following their study of Chernobyl and radioactivity, it is possible that your students think that fossil fuels are a safer source of energy than nuclear power.

1. Write a persuasive essay about the choices in the energy debate.

2. Will understand the environmental consequences that accompany the decision.

Week 3

1 class period

Top

Big Idea
By understanding chemical processes, we can prevent disasters such as occurred in 1984 at the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal, India.
Essential Question

How can a chemical reaction be controlled?

Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

Runaway Reaction
Students will learn the importance of controlling chemical reactions. A study of the disaster at Bhopal, India illustrates the importance of control.

Find out what can happen when a reaction gets out of control.

Week 3

1 class period
Explore

Covalent Bonding and Molecular Geometry
This lesson will teach students to draw covalent bonding diagrams for the compounds associated with the Bhopal disaster that occurred in Bhopal, India on December 3rd, 1984 while the people of the city were sleeping.

Be able to draw covalent bonding diagrams for the compounds involved in the Bhopal disaster.

Week 3

1 class period
Explain

Rate of Reaction
This lesson will teach students to draw covalent bonding diagrams for the compounds associated with the Bhopal disaster that occurred in Bhopal, India on December 3rd, 1984 while the people of the city were sleeping.

Relate that the rate of reaction is affected by temperature, surface area, concentration of reagent, and addition of a catalyst or inhibitor.

Week 4

2 class period
Apply

Conclusion

Explain how the Bhopal disaster might have been prevented based upon their knowledge of factors affecting the rate of reaction.

Week 4

1 class period

Top

Big Idea
The illegal dumping of chemicals such as Trichloroethylene causes health problems as it pollutes our environment. Cleaning up this mess is a major problem facing us and our children.
Essential Question

How can trichloroethylene be removed from the groundwater?

Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

Love Canal
As a result of this lesson, students will understand the need for efficient waste disposal.

Trichloroethylene

1. Understand the implications of illegal dumping of chemical waste

2. Map the trichloroethylene contamination of the groundwater in Tucson, Arizona.

Week 4

2 class period
Explore

Investigate contaminants

Draw structures of chemicals.

Week 5

1 class period
Explain

Oxidation with potassium Permanganate.

Understand how trichloroethylene is removed from the groundwater by oxidation.

Week 5

2 class period
Apply

Redox

Investigate the use of redox for remediation of contaminants.

Week 5

2 class period

Top

 

Big Idea
Ammonium Nitrate is a useful fertilizer providing nitrogen for plants. It is also a powerful explosive that has caused many disasters.
Essential Question

Is it worth the risk?

Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

Jekyll & Hyde
During this exercise, students will learn that ammonium nitrate is used as a fertilizer and an explosive

Understand how chemicals can be very dangerous when not treated with care

Week 6

1 class period
Explore

Efficient Fertilizer
During this exercise, students will learn that ammonium nitrate is used as a fertilizer and an explosive

1. Compare different fertilizers and understand their world wide use.

2. Calculate the molar mass and percent nitrogen in the different fertilizers.

Week 6

1 class period
Explain

Stoichiometry
During this exercise, students will learn that ammonium nitrate is used as a fertilizer and an explosive.


Heat of Solution

Students will measure the energy change caused by dissolving one mole of ammonium nitrate in water.

Quantify the relationship between moles and mass.

 

1. Quantify the relationship between temperature, energy and heat

2. During this exercise, students will learn that ammonium nitrate is used as a fertilizer and an explosive.Understand that an endothermic reaction causes a decrease in temperature

 

Week 6

2 class period
Apply

Is it Worth the Risk?
During this exercise, students will learn that ammonium nitrate is used as a fertilizer and an explosive

Compare the benefits of using ammonium nitrate and the risks.

Week 6

1 class period

Top

 

PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

LOGO - SWEHSC
LOGO - NIEHS Center LOGO - NIEHS

Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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Last update: November 10, 2009
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