Gold Rush! An Event-Based Science Module Student Edition
by Russell G. Wright

Price at time of review: $0
58 pp.
Dale Seymour Publications
While Plains, NY
ISBN: 0-201-49599-6

Grade Level: 5-8

Reviewed by Terry Whisenant
Teacher of Gifted and Talented

How exciting to be a middle school science student today! Event-Based Science Modules such as Gold Rush!, by Russell G. Wright give students the opportunity to tackle and solve real life tasks. Gold Rush! is an Earth science model that allows students to make a decision about reopening abandoned mines. This decision can only be made after careful and guided study.

The paperback student edition contains stories to be read for enjoyment and for finding clues to solve the problem. There are Discovery Files, which give facts about rocks and minerals, atoms and elements, the rock cycle, types of rocks, and the worth of gems in today's market. The selections entitled On The Job are written by professionals in the mining field including an environmental manager, a mining production/operations manager, a field geologist, and a metallurgical engineer.

Hands-on science activities are woven throughout the unit. Students extract ores, do core samplings, grow crystals, and classify rocks. Photos from history are interwoven throughout the student book, and relevant newspaper articles from USA Today are included. Interviews from students that have been on mining expeditions are interspersed. There are math, writing, social studies and technology activities. Working in cooperative teams, students engage in role-playing as they explore the information and conduct their own research and use scientific processes and concepts to solve problems.

The teacher's guide is very helpful. It has all the pages found in the student's book, with detailed descriptions of the objective, outcomes, science concepts, description of the activity, materials and a scoring rubric for the activity. The outcomes are defined, and indicators of mastery are specified. The guide has good hints for organizing the unit and the groups This is an excellent resource for Earth science teachers. I love this concept, and will add the entire series to my resource library.

Review posted on 4/4/2001

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