Dear Parents and Students,
The students are excited for (as they learn parliamentary procedure) their Town Hall meeting this Thursday, January 25 and Friday, January 26 to decide on whether they will allow a Waste to Energy power plant in their town. They have worked hard on their persuasive arguments and have put powerful presentations together to make their points!
An Environmental Town Meeting/Balancing Environmental Decisions and Real-Life Issues by Laura Bovitz
“In a world filled with the products of scientific inquiry, scientific literacy has become a necessity for everyone. Everyone needs to use scientific information to make choices that arise every day. Everyone needs to be able to engage intelligently in public discourse and debate about important issues that involve science and technology. And everyone deserves to share in the excitement and personal fulfillment that can come from understanding and learning about the natural world (NRC 1996, p.1).”
The goal of the activity is to run a mock town meeting that is convened to address a controversial environmental issue, in this case the proposed construction of a waste-to-energy facility.
The town meeting groups are as follows:
- Turtleville Town Council
- E.C.A.R.E. Corporation
- Turtleville Chamber of Commerce
- Turtleville Concerned Citizens
- Construction Workers Union Local #123
- Egret Environmental Consultants
- Turtleville High School Environmental Club
The Town Hall Meeting will be held January 25-26, 2018, while presentations are due for practicing (on Power Point or Google Slides) by the 24th . To begin the meeting, the town council will call the meeting to order and introduce the groups present. The W.E.C.A.R.E. Corporation will present its proposal on the construction of the facility first. Next, the Egret Environmental Consultants should present their scientific assessment of the site, followed by the other stakeholder groups. If time allows 12 minutes per group, groups can be invited to ask questions regarding presentations given by other groups. At the end of the activity, the town council should present a summary of the presentations by the groups, and students should be given an opportunity to vote on what they believe the town council’s decision should be.
Monday, January 22
We will learn parliamentary procedure today.
Tuesday, January 23 and Wednesday, January 24
Follow up with peers on this workday to prepare for the Town Hall meeting. They will have time to work on their labs, reading and other assignments when not using the laptops in this session.
They will be sharing their power points with the teacher and getting tips for improvement before the big day to present. They will also have editing and improvements to make on their persuasive essays due with their power points.
Finalize the “Suck it up: Capillary Action” lab on recording lab results and completing the lab questions.
Thursday, January 25th
Turtleville Town Hall Meeting
Friday, January 26th
Turtleville Town Hall Meeting
The rubric for the Town Hall Meeting will address not only their research and investigations on their Persuasive Argument Presentation, but also the following criteria to assess student learning:
- Students expressed an understanding of the balance between conservation of the natural environment and necessary human activity.
- Students adequately understand and present concerns relating to environmental issues included in the activity, such as waste management, wildlife and habitat conservation, and water and air quality.
- Students were able to use the information provided in the activity to assist with problem solving and group decision making.
- Students worked cooperatively in teams and reached consensus on how to present the viewpoint(s) of the group.
- Students effectively presented their group’s viewpoint and were able to support a position with organized, appropriate details; and were focused on the topic while presenting relevant information using the Persuasive Rubric given.
This is sixth grade science, designed to challenge our students thinking while encouraging them to explore the world around us. We will begin the school year setting the foundations and structure in place for the students to create their own inquiry labs and eventually design their own solutions to (simulated) problems. The students will work in teams most often in class, but will be expected to work independently as well, full participation is expected. There will be individual homework assigned, as part of the process of teaching time management and independent work skills development, we respect and want to balance student time with family and extra curricular activities, please communicate time conflicts ahead of time.