GEMS- Acid Rain
Field of Science or Math
6, 7, 8
This stimulating unit fosters scientific inquiry and critical thinking skills as it harnesses the curiosity, agility, and determination of student minds to study the troubling environmental issue of acid rain.
Students learn about acids, bases, and the pH scale; make "fake lakes" and determine how their pH changes after an acid rainstorm; present a play on the effects of acid rain on aquatic life; determine the effect of various dilutions of acid on seed germination; and hold a town meeting to discuss possible solutions to the problem of acid rain. A "startling statements" game challenges students' preconceptions and prompts investigation.
In addition to providing much information on acid rain, the unit encourages students to analyze complex environmental issues for themselves, and emphasizes community cooperation (making it an effective companion unit to the GEMS guide Global Warming & the Greenhouse Effect.)