High School Mapping

Priorities for Protection  - Mapping Activity

High School Age Group (not necessarily in area affected by oil spill)

Time: 30-60 minutes

Materials: copies of maps or charts relevant to the area, markers, interview clips from kids affected by oil spills (from http://childrenofthespills.org or available on DVD upon request), computer/projector/TV to view videos

Begin by showing brief clips from about the effects of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. 

Could it happen here?   One way to be able to respond sooner is to prepare ahead of time and outline plans for priority areas.  Explain that sometimes oil spill response groups create maps of an area to provide some guidance as to important areas that are feasible to protect.  Scientists rely on local people to add their special knowledge of a place. 

Have students work in small groups of 3-4 people to examine a local map and decide what sites are most important to protect.  Have them spend about 10 minutes with the map and use markers to draw in where they would want to add protection.

Have each group present their map.  Let other groups ask questions. 

Is there anything missing? Ask about things not along the shoreline that might need protection. What about other things important in the community that could be affected by the spill and clean-up efforts? What about places where community members come together to have fun?  What about places that are important to children?  Have groups go back and add something new to the map that was overlooked, something that would help the community to recover from the spill and clean-up.