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Educator's Guide

Abandoned Mine Drainage in Pennsylvania is a science-technology-society (STS) role playing debate simulation. In this activity, learners investigate the AMD issue from differing perspectives. In their investigation, they identify AMD problems, search for a solution, evaluate options, and decide on a course of action to treat and clean up AMD in Pennsylvania.

Divide your class into groups and assign each group a stakeholder role. The students may have preferences.
Each individual or group representing a stakeholder should use the resources available to them on their designated stakeholder role Web page. Each stakeholder has access to the same background material about AMDto provide each learner with an understanding of the issue.

Students should view the resources provided and prepare a statement indicating what they believe is the best course of action for treating abandoned mine drainage in Pennsylvania. When student's present their position statement they should discuss the interests of the person they are role playing and determine how that individual would vote on the issue. They complete the Position Statement Handout to help organize their argument.

Once the students have had time to review their stakeholder resources and have prepared their position statements, hold a debate in the form of a town meeting for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Students should support their debate statements with evidence from the resources. They should complete the AMD Assessment Sheet following the debate.

The stakeholders included in this investigation were chosen to best represent the types of people who are involved with the issues and are affected by decision making about the treatment of abandoned mine drainage. Treatment of AMD at each specific site depends on the characteristics of that site. For example, the type of coal, the specific chemistry, the location of the problem, and other details affect how AMD treatment is determined. This investigation looks at active and passive treatment technologies in a broad sense. Your students should use the case studies in the resources to discuss why technologies work and do not work. They may decide that they are unable to come to a conclusion without knowing the site to which the technology would be applied. Encourage them to identify the pros and cons of each technology. It is okay for the debate to end with acknowledgment that different technologies may be appropriate depending on the site. The main objective is that they learn about the issue of abandoned mine drainage, the technologies available for remediation, and the skills of participating in a debate.

Return to AMD Stakeholders' page


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