Before using these tasks, consider reviewing the Guidance for Use document, which provides suggestions for the most effective ways the TDSciN Task Library can be used to support high-quality science teaching and learning.


coal factory

Driving Phenomenon: Students are shown images of the Briceville, TN community that were taken over 100 years apart. The images show a stark contrast to each other in terms of economic changes that have had an impact on the community. Students try to figure out whether natural resource availability might have affected the town’s economy.

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Student Version (.DOC – 310KB)
Teacher Guide (.PPT – 2MB)
Scenario Slides (.PPT – 2MB)

Tennessee Academic Standards for Science and Next Generation Science Standards Learning Targets

Tennessee Academic Standards for Science

  • HS ESS.ESS3.2: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information on how natural resource availability, natural hazard occurrences, and climatic changes impact individuals and society. Note: The task asks students to consider how the natural resource availability of coal affected the population and economy of a community in Tennessee. The task is limited to the economic impact on individuals and society.

Next Generation Science Standards

  • Science and Engineering Practices
    Obtaining, Evaluation, and Communicating Information

    • High School Element: Compare, integrate, and evaluate sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a scientific question or solve a problem.
  • Crosscutting Concepts
    Cause and Effect: Mechanism and Prediction

    • Middle School Element: Phenomena may have more than one cause, and some cause and effect relationships in systems can only be described using probability.
  • Disciplinary Core Ideas
    ESS3.A. Natural Resources

    • High School Element: All forms of energy production and other resource extraction have associated economic, social, environmental, and geopolitical costs and risks as well as benefits. New technologies and social regulations can change the balance of these factors.
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The Tennessee District Science Network was funded by Arconic Foundation.

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