Problem-Based Learning: Oil Sands
Time: 6-10 hours
As an activist for clean drinking water, it is your mission to make sure that everyone is aware of all of the drinking water problems in Canada. Lately, there have been recent findings with the Alberta Oil Sands developments and contaminated water. A tailings pond for an oil sands development has contaminated the Churchill River and the polluted water is now flowing downstream. You need to find out which communities lie along the Churchill River and what implications the pollution could have on those communities.
There are many communities that could be affected by this contamination. This contamination could cause a number of illnesses and could potentially be fatal. Since it is an oil sands tailings pond causing the contamination, there are a number of different chemicals that could be in the water supply. What kind of chemicals in the water supply could be causing this contamination?
After learning more about the spill and who it has affected, including a major First Nations reserve, you feel more comfortable dealing with the situation. However, you feel the situation needs to be brought to the attention of the public and the government. You feel it is necessary to get more people on your side to stand up against this kind of behaviour.
You will be giving a speech in front of city hall in one week. This speech must persuade people to become environmental activists and not stand for this type of environmental destruction. The speech must be fairly brief.