Hazardous Chemicals in Your Neighborhood

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In this environmental science lesson, learners will examine hazardous chemicals and their effects on human health and the environment. In part 1, learners will conduct research online to find out more about hazardous chemicals, historical examples of environmental damage, and local and federal agencies (EPA and the Superfund program) responsible for environmental hazards in their communities. In part 2, learners will role play as victims of the Love Canal tragedy, EPA officials, authorities and political leaders, or owners of a chemical manufacturing plant. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on Archive.org.]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 14 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • Internet Access
  • Chart Paper & Colored Pencils
  • Appendix A


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Atmosphere
  • Engineering and Technology
    • Engineering
      • Chemical Engineering
      • Environmental Engineering
      • Industrial Engineering
      • Manufacturing Engineering
    • Technology
      • Manufacturing
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
      • Human Impact
    • Human Body
      • Health and Nutrition
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
      • Risks and Benefits
      • Public Policy
      • Ethics
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Impacts of Technology
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • use keyboard
  • use mouse

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Tharian, Abey K.


  • All rights reserved, MacNeil-Lehrer Productions, 2011