Role-playing scenarios in science education offer students an active way to engage in learning as well as to discover how their decisions as citizens, voters, or policymakers can affect environmental and public health. In this activity, students take on the role of environmental consultants, helping city planners decide the best location for a new recreation area located on the fictional community's major waterway. The objective of the game is to engage the students in critical thinking to determine the most relevant water tests needed to accept or reject the four proposed locations, given their knowledge of possible pollutants from different land-use activities. Students work in teams to integrate methods used in determining water quality, such as chemical testing, macroinvertebrate surveys, and bacterial monitoring, into a defendable decision for their recommendation. This activity was designed for and tested by high school students enrolled in AP Environmental Sciences and could be modified for undergraduate ecology or biology courses.
Life's a Beach: Using Role-Playing Scenarios to Facilitate Water Quality Studies
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Christie Sampson, Erica Linard, Lauren Garcia-Chance; Life's a Beach: Using Role-Playing Scenarios to Facilitate Water Quality Studies. The American Biology Teacher 1 May 2018; 80 (5): 353–358. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2018.80.5.353
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