State Report Card

Author: Sylvia Kniest

Time: 2 class periods
Copy report cards and a list of the websites for each student.
Materials: Report cards and a list of the websites listed below for each student.


Students will evaluate their state on the effectiveness of the government in protecting the health of the public from environmental factors by looking at four issues: water and air quality, toxic waste and level of radiation.

Students will be able to:
1. Identify and list the environmental health concerns for their state regarding water and air quality, level of toxic waste and radiation in their state.
2. Discuss the responsibility of the state and federal government for sustaining a healthy environment by enforcing environmental standards.

National Standards For Civics and Government
I-A. What is civic life? What is politics? What is government? Why are government and politics necessary? What purposes should government serve?

Teacher Background
If applicable

Resource Websites

http://www.epa.gov/air/regional/where.html: site for air quality
http://www.epa.gov/305b/98report/statefct.html: site for water quality
http://www.scorecard.org/env-releases/land/: superfund scorecard
http://www.healthandenergy.com/rad_chart.htm: personal radiation dosage chart
http://www.state.nv.us/nucwaste/states/us.htm: nuclear waste transportation routes



Day 1
Take students to the computer lab and give each of them a report card (see model below).
Inform them that they are to grade their state on the quality of life based on the criteria listed on the report card. Students will research the websites listed above in order to determine the grade. Students must give a comment next to each grade they give their state that includes factual data they found from the sites that they visited.

Print Report Card File (.doc)

Plan for Improvement:
Day 2:
On the second day have students work on their report cards during the first half of the period. During the second half of the period have students work in small groups to discuss their report cards and then work together to devise a plan for improvement for the state

Have a class discussion on the “Plans for Improvement”.
Discuss: How effective is the federal government in maintaining a healthy environment? The State? What roadblocks must the state and federal governments overcome in order to sustain a healthy environment?

If applicable

Embedded Assessment
The students’ report cards will be evaluated for evidence of research. Comments should illustrate the main environmental health issues concerning their state. Each comment should list at least 2 facts found on the websites.

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

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


Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694

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Last update: November 10, 2009
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