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Marcellus Shale: Finding Common Ground

This curriculum is centered on the controversial topic of the natural gas from the Marcellus Shale. It is designed for students in their middle school years but can be adjusted to suit the needs of any level of education. The topic can be connected across many educational disciplines particularly focusing on the social, political, and economic impact that the extraction of this resource could have on the northeast region of the United States. While it may be that the people most affected by this discovery will be in the proximity of the northeastern part of the United States, the effects will not be limited to this region. Consequently, the unit can be expanded to observe the trickle affect the resource could have on the entire country. The overarching theme of the unit is to create awareness and inspire students to become active stewards in creating sustainable change regarding the Marcellus Shale Formation. The unit will last for approximately five weeks; however, some aspects of the unit can be omitted or altered to obtain the desired result. In order to link the core standards with the Marcellus curriculum the students will participate in this unit during the fall term where landforms and its various characteristics are taught. This will be ideal for the Marcellus unit because it will allow for the students to reinforce critical concepts that are gone over during that period of the year. Thus, this unit will include a strong focus on the geology of the Marcellus Shale and how it relates to everyday life.

Troy J. Holiday
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