Science is a new way to teach middle school science. It is an
award-winning, standards-based program in which newsworthy events
establish the relevance of science topics; authentic tasks create the
need-to-know more about those topics; and lively interviews,
photographs, Web pages, and inquiry-based science activities create a
desire to know more about those topics.
Toxic Leak! is an Event-Based
Science module about groundwater. It uses gasoline leaks in a
Charlotte, North Carolina tank farm to establish the context for
exploring concepts related to the subsurface water that we call
groundwater. The task in Toxic Leak! places students in the
roles of high school students in a small town with a similar problem. A
leaking gasoline tank at the community's general store is contaminating
some wells in town. Students will acquire then use their knowledge of
aquifers, groundwater, and permeability, porosity, and capillarity to
help their town council select a site for a new community well. Their
selection of the site will demonstrate an understanding of relevant
As with all Event-Based
Science modules, much of the information that students need is provided
in the pages of Toxic Leak!. However, more information may be
helpful to students as they explore topics related to groundwater.
Information about water usage, water conservation, wells, septic
systems, soils, and environmentally safe recipes for cleaning and
household products is available at the sites listed below.
Jeannie Okray (science
teacher at Lake Mills Middle School, Lake Mills, Wisconsin) has
identified an error in the Teacher's Guide portion of the Above and
Below Science Activity. One of the "Official Drilling Logs," found
on page 15 of the Teacher's Guide has an error. In the right hand
column, 207 Market Street should have a Well Depth of 75 feet. We are
sorry for the error, please take the time to correct it now.
Barbara Jabobson (member of
the Rhode Island Geography Education Association) has identified an
error in the Above and Below Science Activity found on page 26
of the student edition of Toxic Leak!. In procedure 4 you will
find reference to the scale to use when making a subsurface profile.
The wording states "use the scale 1 inch = 2 feet." Barbara reminds us
that the correct terminology is "use the scale 1 inch represents 2
Please let us know if you
find other errors.
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Science website was available
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Click on the highlighted
words and be linked with helpful sites.
to Toxic Leak! related WEB Sites
checked monthly. They were working on the date of the last update.)
About the WaterCycle Wendy Thompson and her 3rd Grade students in Wyldwood,
Texas recommend this site. They "have really enjoyed using the
for SchoolsThis USGS sponsored web site offers
information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps,
and an interactive center where you can give opinions and test your
About the Water Cycle A great
resource from the water conservation and education outreach coordinator
from a water filter company Berkey Filters.
Global Water Sampling Project Through this site, students from
around the globe are teaming up to test fresh water. Join in this
collaborative project and compare the water quality of your local
river, stream, lake or pond with other fresh water sources around the
world. (This project is developed and managed by the Center for
Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) which is located
at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.)
American Ground Water Trust from this sites Ground
Water Information page, you can search for brief, easy to
understand explanations of many ground water issues.
found in crude oil and gasoline, causes cancer. Learn more about
benzene at this site.