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In this PBL experience, students will choose to represent one side of a debate. Each group has 3 tasks: to defend their position, question the opposing decision, and propose a plan to account for the issues involved.
Students will choose side of of the following debates:
1. Assateague Island: AI is a barrier island off the coast of Virginia (and Maryland). It is home to over 300 wild ponies that have roamed the island since the 1600s. Because of the ponies and unique setting of Assateague, it has become a tourist attraction, bringing in over 2 million visitors to the small island each year. Due to a jetty built in 1935, the normal sand deposition at the North end of the island has declined, causing the island to slowly shrink. Should we fund the very expensive efforts to keep the barrier island, and home of 300 wild ponies, intact in this battle against nature?
2. The North Pole: Canada, Norway, Denmark, Russia and the United States all border the North Pole, which is believed to contain large amounts of the Earth’s remaining natural gas. As the Earth’s supply of natural gas continues to dwindle, the price goes up, making this untapped supply more valuable. The North Pole is also an ecosystem. Should we (humans) venture into the North Pole to retrieve this extremely valuable natural resource?
Included in this resource:
You will need to have computers for research and technology capabilities to allow students to record speeches, make presentations, and posters.
The final product is the focus of this project. This is a true PBL activity. If you're looking for a polished, specific outcome, do this.
PBL teaches the unspoken curriculum, in addition to the spoken. Through research, teamwork, and presentation, students will gain insight into environmental debates present in our society. They will also communicate with one another, use technology - possibly in a new way - , work as a team, and produce a final, genuine product.
Enjoy teaching again.