(Not) In My Backyard

Problem-Based Learning in Middle School Science


You have just learned about a proposal to city council to allow ACME Co. to begin harvesting/collecting/mining a natural resource on a piece of land adjacent to Open Space land which you and your family enjoy using. Your neighbors are involved in a heated debate about the value of having such a project nearby. Your job is to research the issues presented by those on both sides of the debate, form your opinion, and present it to your neighbors and possibly City Council.
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Choose one of the following locally harvested/collected/mined natural resources

  1. gold
  2. silver
  3. molybdenum
  4. gypsum
  5. natural gas/oil
  6. coal
  7. solar energy
  8. wind energy
  9. sand and gravel (aggregate)
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Choose a project format

OR...suggest another project type of your own...


  • Consider all of the evidence before choosing your side.
  • Make your choice clear.
  • Address arguments from both sides of the issue within your project.
  • Use facts, examples, observations and pictures to make your argument strong.
  • Cite all sources of information and pictures.


Tuesday September 20

Your project will present itself, in other words, you will not stand in front of the class and talk. Your project should convey your ideas without your presence, perhaps Voicethread may be useful. Your peers will view your presentation and evaluate the evidence you have used to support your stance on the natural resource you have chosen to study.