North Carolina’s Natural Gas Deposits: An Instructional Opportunity

Fred Beyer is a retired educator and science curriculum specialist as well as author who knows NC geology well.  He recently posted this email to NC’s earth science teacher listserv and I asked for his permission to re-post it here:

North Carolina has natural gas deposits in the Sanford Triassic Basin.
During coming months there will be a number of articles in the news
concerning efforts to explore and tap this natural resource. Your students will have questions and you need to have answers. The following web sites have some of the information you will need to develop those answers.

Explore Shale

This site presents the process of drilling and fracking a shale deposit to recover the natural gas trapped in the layers.

Drlling Down Series, The New York Times

This current news series features a number of articles concerning various concerns related to the natural gas exploration process.

As this issue develops in North Carolina you and your students will be exposed to many points of view.  Your task will be to present the available information and help students form their own conclusions.  This issue will present a unique  opportunity to help students:

1. Develop their skills in interpreting information.
2. Separating opinions from facts.
3. Applying scientific reasoning to the information to develop
a conclusion or set of conclusions consistent with the data.

In fact, this may also present an opportunity to educate your students’ parents about how scientific decisions are made.

I suggest you consider begin a collection of articles and other information from which can build an investigatory experience for your students.

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