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
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.
to AMD Stakeholders' page