The Fracking MEL
Below are links to resources that will help students use the Fracking MEL and learn more about fundamental scientific principles related to this issue.
This article provides an introduction to the Fracking MEL plus suggestions from classroom use including management tips and specific areas in which students might have difficulties and suggestions for assisting students with their understanding, such as providing additional background information and hands-on investigations.Evaluating the Connections Between Fracking and Earthquakes TES (Acrobat (PDF) 1019kB Jun4 18)
Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations
MS-ESS2-5: Earth's Systems
- Develop a model describing the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
HS-ESS2-5: Earth's Systems
- Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes.
MS-ETS1-1: Engineering Design
- Define the criteria and constraints of a design problem with sufficient precision to ensure a successful solution, taking into account relevant scientific principles and potential impacts on people and the natural environment that may limit possible solutions.
HS-ETS1-3: Engineering Design
- Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
HS-ESS3-2: Earth and Human Activity
- Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
HS-ESS3-4: Earth and Human Activity
- Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
Model A: The increase in moderate magnitude earthquakes in the Midwest is caused by fracking for fossil fuels.
Model B: The increase in moderate magnitude earthquakes in the Midwest is caused by normal tectonic plate motion.
- Fracking Model Plausibility Ratings (Acrobat (PDF) 143kB Jun4 18)
- Fracking MEL – Diagram (Acrobat (PDF) 26kB Feb8 21)
- Explanation Task (Acrobat (PDF) 125kB Feb8 21)
Lines of Evidence
Evidence #1: Fracking fluids and wastewater injected into the ground change the stress in Earth's crust.
Evidence #2: During recent years, the number of earthquakes near fracking sites was 11 times higher than the 30-year average.
Evidence #3: Convection of hot but solid and ductile rocks in the upper mantle creates stresses in Earth's crust. These stresses cause Earth's crust to fracture.
Evidence #4: Many earthquakes are currently occurring in regions surrounding fracking sites.
- Fracking MEL – Evidence Texts BW (Acrobat (PDF) 914kB Jun4 18)
- Fracking MEL – Evidence Texts Color (Acrobat (PDF) 325kB Jun4 18)
When the Fracking MEL was first introduced to the students, it was became clear that the geologic processes involved in fracking were unfamiliar to most. This introductory background reading was developed to assist students.
- Introduction to Fossil Fuel Drilling and Fracking (Acrobat (PDF) 2.7MB Jun4 18)
This Plausibility Ranking Task (PRT), which may be completed prior to using any MELs, helps students to understand the role of evidence in supporting or refuting models.
- Plausibility Ranking Task (Acrobat (PDF) 20kB Feb8 21)