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Saving the Environment One Maverick at a Time…
Examining Oil's Impact on the Environment and Taking Action for
Conservation & Preservation
Students need to understand how the development and use of natural
resources affects Alberta's natural environment and potential steps
that may ensure the sustainability of these areas in the future.
What is the impact of developing natural resources? How is the transportation
of resources extremely problematic? What environmental disasters
have already happened? How can we take steps to minimize or prevent
these in the future? What can each individual do to minimize our
dependence on hydrocarbon resources?
In this project, students will develop an appreciation of the impact
that oil resources can have on our environment if care is not taken.
Student will research and examine an issue relating the oil &
gas industry to the natural environment. In some manner they will
present to their findings to their peers, as well as find and share
tips on how each of us can be kinder to the environment.
* This lesson is an extension of the first two lessons in the Oil
and Gas section of Mavericks. Students should complete one of these
two projects before this one.
Alberta Social Studies Curriculum Unit Connections
Grade Four - Alberta: The Land, Histories and Stories
4.1 Alberta: A Sense of the Land
4.2 The Stories, Histories and People of Alberta
4.3 Alberta: Celebrations and Challenges
Grade Five - Canada: The Land, Histories and Stories
5.1 Physical Geography of Canada
5.2 Histories and Stories of Ways of Life in Canada
Grade Six - Democracy: Action and Participation
6.1 Citizens Participating in Decision Making
Materials and Resources Needed
Students will examine and assess the impact that the oil industry
has upon our environment, and become "Environmental Mavericks"
themselves by trying to think of ways in which we can preserve our
province and its resources for future generations.
After students have worked on at least one of the previous Oil
and Gas projects, they can use the knowledge they have learned to
examine the environmental impact of the oil and natural gas industry
on Alberta and the world. Teachers could introduce the project to
students using the CBC archives of David Suzuki to introduce a non-Albertan
environmental Maverick to the students. As well, they may investigate
the issues surrounding the sinking, and subsequent raising, of the
"Irving Whale" Oil Barge off the coast of Prince Edward
Students will then examine an ecological or environmental effect
related to the oil and gas industry. They will use the web resources
above to become familiar with these problems and then work to inform
others about their consequences. They may choose a topic from the
- Marine Oil Spills
- Pipeline Spills
- Oil fires (Kuwait)
- A Specific Marine or Pipeline Oil Spill
- Cleanup of Oil Spills
- Inglewood Wildlands (clean-up project of a Gulf Oil refinery
- Disposal of Old Oil (e.g. car oil change)
- "Produced Water" Problem
- Greenhouse Effect
- Acid Rain
- Potential for Eco-terrorism
- Will We Ever Run Out of Oil and Natural Gas?
The students will create a poster, a presentation or undertake
a project to share with other classes or the whole school about
energy, natural resource, or environmental conservation and prevention.
It will contain information about the oil and natural gas topic
and it's consequences. They will also investigate the question "What
would an Environmental Maverick do to help solve this problem?"
They should examine the problem, the consequences to the environment,
societal costs, and future prevention. They should also provide
ideas on what everyone can do to help solve the problem. When ready,
students may display or present their work to others in order to
heighten environmental awareness around their school.
Assessment and Evaluation
- In groups or as a class, students may conference and debrief
each other after they have presented their projects. Students
should be encouraged to share their personal reflections about
how it felt to speak in front of their audience.
- Students may evaluate themselves and their peers using their
project rubric, examining each other's project for historical
accuracy, detail, and creativity.
- Students should use their journal to demonstrate their journey
through the problem solving process. This will allow the teacher
to evaluate whether they looked at all content and possibilities,
their brainstorming, the pros and cons they examined for their
solution, and why they settled on the solution they did.
Ideas for Enriching this Project
- Students could create a math project graphing the incidences
of oil spills per year using the Oil Spills History website. What
percentages of the spills are Canadian? How much oil has been
spilled in total? On land? On the water?
- Students could take the "One-Tonne Challenge" and
send in what they do to the "Canadians Taking Action"
section of the challenge webpage.