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As prices soar to over $3 a gallon, “it” has become a hotly contested political issue. Wars and other international conflicts have erupted over access to “it,” and pumping “it” out of the ground has become more and more expensive. If you’re thinking that “it” refers to oil or gasoline, think again. “It,” in this case, is water! In this month’s Editor’s Corner, the Field Editor discusses the alarming global problem of water scarcity and the depletion of Earth’s water resources, which threaten to make water the “new oil.” In addition, he references some of the featured articles in this issue of The Science Teacher that directly relate to this timely topic.
A selection from The Science Teacher -- September 2006
One might think that this article is about gas and oil based on its title; instead, it is all about water. If a teacher is looking for ideas that will spurn student interest on the topic of water, this article provides several venues. Some of the topics mentioned include political issues that exist with water scarcity in America and other countries; use of plastic bottles; meteorological and earth science issues because of melting polar ice caps; relationships between Global warming and ocean temperatures; red tide and beach closings in New England; strength of hydrogen bonds which allows water to exist in three states within ‘normal’ Earth temperatures; size of Earth and distance from Sun, etc. to provide a water-friendly planet; and the list could go on and on. This one-page editorial contains a wealth of ideas for launching lessons and discussions around the topic of water.
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)
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