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TCE Logo TCE (Trichloroethylene) Contamination and Cleanup Curriculum

Navigate to the TCE section of your choice.
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TCE Learning Cycles are listed below
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Arizona Daily Star Special Edition on TCE - 1985 Arizona Daily Star Special Edition - 1985 on TCE
Arizona Daily Star 1985
Special Edition on TCE
PDF Icon Arizona  Daily Star Special Edition on TCE

Social Studies Lessons

Big Idea

Any change made to the environment for the betterment of society can have unintended consequences. While the addition of various aviation and defense businesses brought a boom to the economy of Tucson after WWII, the unrestrained growth led to an environmental disaster warranting Superfund cleanup status that only came into being after the community affected by the TCE contamination banded together to hold those responsible for the cause.

Essential Question

* What is an environmental disaster?
* Why was TCE even used if it was dangerous?
* How did the community respond to the issue?
* What lessons can we learn from the community’s experiment with the TCE problem and how can we apply it to other situations?

Learning Cycle


Environmental Disasters on the Macro Level
The focus of this lesson is to have students look at the effects of environmental disasters around the world to different species and to generate questions about this issue. This lesson closely examines the Three Gorges Dam Project
* Describe the effects of certain environmental disasters on humans, flora and fauna
* Create 5 questions related to the topic


From Poultry Farm to Toxic Dump
The focus of this lesson is to have students understand what the district was like and why no one thought much of building the airport and Hughes missile system.

Analyze article and photos pertaining to the Sunnyside Unified School District to gain an understanding of what the area looked like eighty years ago.

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Life Before TCE/Life After TCE
The focus of these lessons is to help students understand how people became aware of the problem, and how the community responded to their problems.
* Read newspaper accounts and other first-hand accounts surrounding the TCE issue at SUSD.
* Identify how the community learned about TCE and how the larger community of Tucson responded to them.

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TCE Today - But is that All?
The focus of this lesson is to have students draw conclusions/lessons learned about this issue and what role they may have in the future if something like this happens again. objectives
* Draw conclusions as to what the lessons are that we can take from the TCE issue and speculate on other issues that may face them locally, nationally and internationally.

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Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center
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Last update: September 11, 2008
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