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Environmental Impact: Comparing Industries (Developed by SEPUP)

Module #EI-2
Environmental Impact: Comparing Industries (Developed by SEPUP)
Having an industry in your community can lead to both positive and negative outcomes. In this module, students investigate the possible outcomes through a scenario, in which they role-play being residents of an island who are asked to vote to allow a factory to be built.

Students engage in hands-on explorations of two industries; mining and chemical manufacturing.They read about two others; food processing and gasoline production. These explorations provide the students with an understanding that all industries have common needs: obtaining raw materials, manufacturing a product, and safely disposing of wastes.

The embedded assessment system focuses on students’ ability to use evidence and identify trade-offs.

This module includes a Teacher's Guide.
Module requires 16 SEPUP trays (not included in module)

Accommodates five classes, each with 8 groups of four students.

Complete Module Equipment Package

Environmental Impact: Comparing Industries (Developed by SEPUP)

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This module has 8 activities which will require 12 to 16 ~50-minute class periods to complete.

1. Industries in Communities

Students reveal their attitudes toward industry through word association. Their perceptions of three industries (chemical processing, copper processing, and gasoline processing) are explored as a basis for discussion of the impact of industry on a community. Students are then introduced to the residents of the fictional community of Wright’s Island, who must decide whether to introduce a new industry to their island.

2. Investigating Chemical Reactions

Students are introduced to chemical reactions as they begin to gather evidence on the various industries that are interested in building factories on Wright’s Island. Students observe the reaction of copper chloride solution with aluminum and describe indicators of chemical reactions. They discuss how this evidence can be used to make an informed decision on establishing a factory on Wright’s Island. Students read about the use of chemical formulas and equations.

3. Producing Copper from Ore

The idea that natural resources are used to make products is discussed. A flame test is used to demonstrate the characteristic color of copper. Students simulate a process by which copper is extracted from an ore. The class discusses how the by products of ore processing create waste disposal issues.

4. Evaluating Copper Production

The teacher models the use of the “Write as You Read Science” strategy using a passage describing the copper production process. Students then complete an Industry Impact Information sheet using information gathered about copper production from Activities 3 and 4. (Students will complete additional sheets for two other industries in Activity 7).

5. Making Gypsum

Students produce gypsum (calcium sulfate) through a two-step process. Although gypsum is not normally obtained commercially using this process, the synthesis is used as a simulation of industrial chemical manufacturing. Students first combine crushed calcite (calcium carbonate) and hydrochloric acid. They then add sodium sulfate and stir until a fine precipitate of gypsum forms. They then collect the gypsum by filtration and leave it out to air dry.

6. Using Properties to Identify Gypsum

Continuing their investigation of gypsum, students compare the properties of gypsum with those of three other white chemicals. They use chemical properties of each substance to deduce the chemical formula of gypsum. The chemical reactions used to produce gypsum are discussed.

7. Evaluating More Industries

Students use the “Write as You Read Science” literacy strategy as they read proposals submitted by three different industries. They identify the relevant information needed to complete an Industry Impact Information sheet for each industry.

8. Choosing an Industry

Students compare three different options for using the site of the abandoned amusement park. They complete a matrix to help them evaluate the different industries on several criteria. Based upon the results of the comparison, each students elects an industry for Wright’s Island. Students support their selections with evidence and identify the trade-offs of their decisions.

Scientific Concepts

  • Many of the products used in society are a result of chemical reactions carried out by different industries.
  • Substances react chemically in characteristic ways with other substances to form new substances with different properties. A chemical equation describes the chemical changes.
  • Matter is neither created nor destroyed during chemical reactions.
  • Gathering relevant evidence is essential for thoughtful inquiry and good decision making.
  • Making decisions about complex issues often involves trade-offs and evaluating issues requires an analysis of both risks (costs) and benefits.

Guides & Student Sheets

Our kits and modules provide you with everything you need so you can open, review, and teach the material confidently the next day.

  • Full downloadable Teacher Guide with background information, detailed instruction, example data and answers
  • Downloadable Student Sheets with age appropriate background information, full procedure(s), and analysis questions
  • All materials necessary to carry out the investigation
  • Safety Data Sheets

Module Components

  • 1 Teacher’s Guide with reproducible masters for Student Sheets
  • 200 Filter paper, 7.5cm circles
  • 40 Aluminum foil squares
  • 16 SEPUP Filter Funnels
  • 16 LAB-AIDS® measuring/mixing spatulas
  • 16 30 mL graduated cups
  • 16 Droppers
  • 16 Plastic scoops
  • 8 Bottles of Hydrochloric Acid solution, 0.5M, 120 ml
  • 8 Bottles of Sodium Sulfate solution, 0.6M, 60 ml
  • 8 Vials of Calcite Ore (crushed), 5 g
  • 8 Vials of CaCl2 (calcium chloride), crushed, 3 g
  • 8 Vials of CaSO4 (calcium sulfate), crushed, 3 g
  • 8 Vials of NaCl (sodium chloride), crushed, 5 g
  • 8 Vials of Malachite Ore (crushed), 4 g
  • 8 Vials of Iron Powder (crushed), 5 g
  • 8 Bottles of Sulfuric Acid solution, 0.5M
  • 8 Bottles of Copper (II) Chloride solution, 50,000 ppm
  • 8 Drop control bottles of "Water", empty
  • 2 Samples of calcite ore
  • 2 Samples of malachite ore
  • 1 9 oz plastic cups
  • 1 12" piece of copper wire
  • 1 MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets)

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