NBC Learn and the National Science Foundation have teamed up to produce a 6-part video series that explores how atoms and molecules thousands times smaller than the width of a human hair can be used to create technology for the future.

Click here to view this week's video installment


Complete Sixth Grade
Sustainability Curriculum

Publix Super Markets, Inc. has joined efforts with FPES (Florida Press Educational Services) to bring this program to sixth grade students. This FREE NIE Program will show your sixth grade students how to become responsible members of the planet, and to respect all of the resources that it has to offer.

Downloads:

Flip Chart for Interactive White Boards
Note: Only classrooms with white boards will be able to run this file.

Complete supplement as PDF

Teachers Guide


Lesson plans for use with the e-Edition on Interactive White Boards

Included are basic lessons for an Elementary, Middle and Secondary classroom that can be utilized to introduce Language Arts and Social Studies activities.

Middle School Social Studies Lesson Plan
Middle and High School Language Arts Lesson Plan
High School Social Studies Lesson Plan
Elementary Social Studies Lesson Plan
Elementary and Middle School Language Arts Lesson Plan

USA Weekend Teacher Guides

New Teacher's Guides are available every Monday, complete with monthly themes highlighted in a weekly lesson and a monthly activity sheet.

Click here to download guides from USA Weekend

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

FOR THE WEEK OF FEB. 08, 2016

Undrinkable water in Flint, Mich., is a signal of health risks from old lead pipes in other cities

frontpageactionpoints.gif
1.gif
Look for an update on this situation and share a quote that describes it.
2.gif
Read coverage of a local city or state government issue. Summarize the key points.
3.gif
Using a photo or article, identify another basic need that we may take for granted until something goes wrong.

A U.S. House committee heard last week from federal and state officials dealing with a drinking water contamination crisis in Flint, Michigan. Lead has contaminated the city's water since a cost-saving switch in April 2014 from Detroit’s system to the Flint River as an interim step while a pipeline from Lake Huron is built. Improper treatment procedures let the corrosive water release lead from old pipes, causing a severe health risk – especially for youngsters.

State environmental officials and the federal Environmental Protection Agency learned of the problem last year, but initially minimized it and didn’t alert the public. Flint residents complained for months about the taste, smell and appearance of their water, but officials assured them it was safe. Tests later found elevated lead levels in the blood of local children. Gov. Rick Snyder, who recently apologized for his response, early last month declared an emergency in the auto manufacturing city that has fallen on hard times. He requested federal help, which the president promptly authorized. Residents, businesses and schools are relying solely on bottled water. At the same time, the FBI is looking into possible misconduct by officials who oversaw water testing and may have altered the results.

The Washington inquiry by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform focused on the state and federal inaction that left Flint residents unaware of the lead risks for months, even though warnings and evidence were offered by a local doctor, an environmental engineering professor from Virginia and an investigative reporter. ""This was a state failure," Rep. Dan Kildee, who grew up in Flint, told the hearing. "The governor should write a check tomorrow. . . . Make it right for these kids."

The situation raises concerns beyond Michigan. "Flint . . . offers a cautionary tale to several other aging cities nationally," says a report from the Brookings Institution, a Washington policy center. Others also wave caution flags:

  • “Unless officials invest in upgrades to the nation's infrastructure, other predictable surprises wait for Americans," warns business professor Daniel Bergstresser of Brandeis University near Boston.
  • "The EPA has completely turned its gaze away from this,” says Yanna Lambrinidou, a Virginia Tech science professor studying lead contamination of tap water. "It's an horrendous situation. The system is absolutely failing."
  • ”Similar circumstances afflict marginalized municipalities populated by marginalized people across the nation. Some of the most vulnerable communities are small post-industrial cities, like Flint."– Jake Blumgart, Philadelphia reporter and researcher

Governor says: "Government failed you. I am sorry I let you down. We will not stop working for the city of Flint until every single person has clean water." – Rick Snyder in State of the State address

Congresswoman says: "The situation in Flint represents a crisis of leadership on all levels, and we must ensure that we take the appropriate steps to ensure that similar situations do not occur elsewhere." – Rep. Brenda Lawrence, D-Mich., member of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee

Doctor says: "We couldn't believe that in 2016 now, in the middle of the Great Lakes, we couldn't guarantee a population access to good drinking water." – Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha of Flint hospital, who helped raise awareness

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2016
We welcome comments or suggestions for future topics: Click here to Comment

Front Page Talking Points Archive

Undrinkable water in Flint, Mich., is a signal of health risks from old lead pipes in other cities

Super Bowl 50: A veteran quarterback (Peyton Manning) and a young star (Cam Newton) face off Sunday

All-white acting nominees for movie Oscars revive a national discussion

The actor and the fugitive: Sean Penn's Rolling Stone interview with 'El Chapo' has critics

Annual tech event showcases amazing, useful and wacky electronic devices

The year ahead: Here’s some of what will make front page news during 2016

Protecting the planet: Nations pledge to cut fossil fuels and expand use of cleaner energy

New era for U.S. military: Gender no longer blocks women from infantry or other combat roles

New way to roll: Motorized balance boards are glitzy, costly and a target of concerns

Scary times: More than 30 governors resist federal plans to bring Syrian war refugees

Complete archive