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Introduction

Why Mercury Education

Mercury is a naturally occurring element that can cause health and ecological problems when released to the environment through human activities. Though a national, and even international issue, the mercury problem is best understood when studied at the local level. Use this guide to help your students learn about the health and environmental concerns associated with mercury, find out where it is in their school and homes, and help school officials and family members do something about it.

This curriculum contains background information on mercury and youth-based activities. To obtain the most out of the curriculum, teachers should read over the general information and have the students conduct their mercury I.Q. Teachers do not need to use all of the activities, they can then proceed to any section, according to their curriculum needs, and review the scientific information provided and assign to their students the corresponding activity. However, it is usually a good idea to do Activity 2, the case study, before doing any of the Activities 3 through 10. Activities were designed for High School classes, however many are appropriate for 6th through 8th grade use.

Correlations to National Standards

The teaching activities included in the Mercury In Your School and the Community: A National Issue are interdisciplinary and have been correlated to the National Science Education Standards, the Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, and the U.S. Education Standards for Physical Education and Health Standards.

Only Grade 12 standards were considered. For the Social Studies and Physical Education and Health Standards the Content Standard is listed first and refers to what students should know and be able to do. The Performance Standard is then listed and tells how students will show they are meeting a standard. For the Science Standards only the Content Standard is listed. Only direct relationships are listed and apply only to the main activity the students are involved with.

Social Studies Standards

II. Time, Continuity, & Change

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the ways human beings view themselves in and over time, so that the learner can:

c. apply key concepts such as time, chronology, causality, change, conflict, and complexity to explain, analyze, and show connections among patterns of historical change and continuity;

Activity 8

III. People, Places, & Environments

Social Studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places, and environments, so the learner can:

b. create, interpret, use, and synthesize information from various representations of the earth, such as maps, globes, and photographs;

Activity 7

k. propose, compare, and evaluate alternative policies for the use of land and other resources in communities, regions, nations, and the world.

Activities 9, 10

VI. Power; Authority, & Goverance

Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance, so that the learner can:

j. prepare a public policy paper and present and defend it before an appropriate forum in school and community

Activity 10

X. Civic Ideals & Practices

j. participate in activities to strengthen the "common good" based upon careful evaluation of possible options for citizen action.

Activities 9, 10

U.S. Education Standards - Physical Education and Health Standards

NPH-H.9-12.1 Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention-

  • Analyze how behavior can impact health maintenance and disease prevention. Activity 2
  • Explain the impact of personal health behaviors on the functioning of body systems. Activity 2
  • Analyze how the environment influences the health of the community. Activities 6, 10
  • Analyze how public health policies and government regulations influence health promotion and disease prevention. Activities 9, 10

NPH-H.9-12.3 Reducing Health Risks

Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and reduce health risks-

  • Evaluate a personal health assessment to determine strategies for health enhancement and risk reduction. Activities 3, 4
  • Analyze the short-term and long-term consequences of safe, risky and harmful behaviors. Activity 2

NPH-H.9-12.4 Influences on Health

  • Analyze how information from the community influences health. Activity 9

NPH-H.9-12.7 Health Advocacy

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of communication methods for accurately expressing health information and ideas. Activities 9, 10
  • Express information and opinions about health issues. Activities 9, 10
  • Demonstrate the ability to work cooperatively when advocating for healthy communities. Activities 9, 10

Science Standards

Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry

As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop

Content Standard B: Physical Science

As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of

Content Standard C: Life Science

As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of

Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop an understanding of

 
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| Table of Contents |
| Introduction | Focus on Mercury | School Information | Household Information |
| Mercury in the Environment | Mercury in Our World and Community |

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Last revised: August 20, 2004