administration student task rubric student work technical quality
Acid Rain and Its Effects
Task with Student Directions
Contributed by: Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

The lake near your school used to be a great place to go fishing and to see plants. Lately, very few fish have been caught, and those that are caught do not seem very healthy. The variety of plants in the area also has decreased.

You have read and heard a great deal about acid rain and all of its negative effects. You and your friends wonder if acid rain is responsible for the unhealthy fish and the loss of plants at the lake. Your group has decided to spend the next few weeks studying acid rain and some of its consequences. First you will need to determine if the rain in your area is indeed acidic. Then you will need to investigate the damage that acid rain can do to buildings, monuments, and plants; regardless of whether the rain in your area is acidic.

Part I: Identifying the Problem, Collecting Data

You will need to design an experiment that determines if the precipitation in your area is acidic. You will need to graph amounts of precipitation, pH levels, and general weather conditions for the course of the experiment.

You will also need to design and carry out experiments that determine the effects of acid rain on monuments, plants and buildings.

A description of your experimental procedures, observations, and conclusions will be included in your report to your local governmental body.

Part II: Locating the Source of the Problem

You will need to gather data about acid rain. What produces it? Does acid rain fall in your area? What industries in your area contribute to it? Are there laws regulating companies or cars that add to the acid rain problem? What weather patterns exist in your area? Are they responsible for bringing the acid rain to your area?

You may want to discuss this problem with local experts in addition to doing research on your own.

Part III: The Report to the Town Council

Once you have gathered all your information, you will need to write your report to the local government. The report should include your observations and other information you acquired while researching the problem. Illustrate your findings with graphs, diagrams and/or tables of data. On the basis of your findings, provide an analysis of the problem. If you can identify the sources of acid rain, you may name them, but you must be able to substantiate your allegation. Conclude your report by offering a plan that the local governing body can follow to reduce the amount of acid rain.

The report to the local government should be submitted to your teacher along with all your data and research notes.


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