InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Lead in the Environment
 Earth-focused Modules and Courses for the Undergraduate Classroom
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process. This rigorous, structured process includes:

  • team-based development to ensure materials are appropriate across multiple educational settings.
  • multiple iterative reviews and feedback cycles through the course of material development with input to the authoring team from both project editors and an external assessment team.
  • real in-class testing of materials in at least 3 institutions with external review of student assessment data.
  • multiple reviews to ensure the materials meet the InTeGrate materials rubric which codifies best practices in curricular development, student assessment and pedagogic techniques.
  • review by external experts for accuracy of the science content.


This page first made public: Sep 6, 2017

Summary

The Lead in the Environment module is designed to integrate multiple disciplines to inform solutions to the ongoing burden of childhood lead poisoning. This module addresses the systems dynamics of lead within the human body, in individual households, and in communities and regions over time. Students use real data reflecting the distribution of residual lead in the environment and the incidence of elevated blood lead levels to explore patterns of disparities in both risk and health outcomes. Students evaluate policy strategies that have been developed across multiple agencies and scales and recommend appropriate courses of action to reduce risk of exposure.

Strengths of the Module

Students who learn with this module will:

  • Describe the circulation of lead within the environment and its impacts on human health
  • Characterize distribution of lead exposure risk as it varies temporally and spatially
  • Predict potential sources of exposure and develop appropriate solutions for prevention and intervention
  • Assess the role of science, policy, and public health frameworks in solving complex issues of environmental health and equity

A great fit for courses in:

  • Earth/Environmental Science
  • Environmental Health
  • Environmental Justice
  • Geoscience
  • Public Health
  • Regional Planning
  • Science and Society
  • Urban Studies

This module has been designed for advanced level undergraduate students in a variety of courses, including regional planning, urban studies, environmental justice, public health, environmental health, environmental science, or geology. No prior scientific knowledge is required, so the activities can be adopted for use by students in social science disciplines, natural and physical science disciplines, and interdisciplinary programs. This module was designed for advanced seminars or smaller classes (up to 50 people), though certain elements could be modified for use in larger classes.

Supported community developed, nationally-recognized Earth Science Literacy Principles:

  • Earth Science Literacy 3.1: The four major systems of Earth are the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere.
  • Earth Science Literacy 3.2: All Earth processes are the result of energy flowing and mass cycling within and between Earth's systems.
  • Earth Science Literacy 3.4: Earth's systems interact over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales.
  • Earth Science Literacy 3.6: Earth's systems are dynamic; they continually react to changing influences.
  • Earth Science Literacy 3.7: Changes in part of one system can cause new changes to that system or to other systems, often in surprising and complex ways.
  • Earth Science Literacy 3.8: Earth's climate is an example of how complex interactions among systems can result in relatively sudden and significant changes.
  • Earth Science Literacy 7.1: Earth is our home; its resources mold civilizations, drive human exploration, and inspire human endeavors that include art, literature, and science.
  • Earth Science Literacy 7.4: Resources are distributed unevenly around the planet.
  • Earth Science Literacy 7.6: Soil, rocks, and minerals provide essential metals and other materials for agriculture, manufacturing, and building.
  • Earth Science Literacy 9.1: Human activities significantly change the rates of many of Earth's surface processes.
  • Earth Science Literacy 9.9: An Earth-science literate public, informed by current and accurate scientific understanding of Earth, is critical to the promotion of good stewardship, sound policy, and international cooperation.


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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »