Event-Based Science

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What is Event-Based Science?

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Event-Based Science meets National Science Education Standards!

Toxic Leak!

Event-Based 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.

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soil strata permeability porosity capillarity

Toxic Leak!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 science concepts.

NSTA Recommends Toxic Leak!

Teaching Suggestions From The Field

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.

Correction Alert

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 feet."

Please let us know if you find other errors.

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Toxic Leak! Resources

A "pdf" file containing web sites, books, material lists, and correlations with National Science Education Standards.
Use the BACK button in your browser to return to this page.

EBS Breaking News
Click here to use Google News to search and browse 4,500 continuously updated news sources for breaking news about leaking underground tanks.

Click on the highlighted words and be linked with helpful sites.

Links to Toxic Leak! related WEB Sites

(Links are checked monthly. They were working on the date of the last update.)
  • Learning About the Water Cycle Wendy Thompson and her 3rd Grade students in Wyldwood, Texas recommend this site. They "have really enjoyed using the activities there."
  • Water Science for Schools This 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 water knowledge.
  • All About the Water Cycle A great resource from the water conservation and education outreach coordinator from a water filter company Berkey Filters.
  • The 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.
  • Benzene found in crude oil and gasoline, causes cancer. Learn more about benzene at this site.

Roca Mines, Inc.

Video - Underground Storage Tank Training


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