The Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911 was a turning point for employee health and safety protections in the U.S. Students investigate the Triangle tragedy and how its impact is still felt today. Students identify eerie parallels between the Triangle Fire and more recent workplace events with safety implications – recent complaints of Wal-Mart employee lock-ins, a deadly fire in a North Carolina poultry processing plant in 1991, and a 1993 fire in a Thailand toy factory given the sad distinction of most deadly industrial fire in the world. How can future tragedies be prevented in the workplace? Students assess the costs, benefits and effectiveness of various government and labor actions. They discover that worker safety is a complex issue and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
This lesson focuses on the scarce and nonrenewable nature of fossil fuels in order to stimulate student thinking about energy conservation. It emphasizes the fact that saving energy can be good for the wallet as well as the earth's future. Students play a memory game that challenges them to find people-powered substitutes for things that use electricity and gas. Students then use the federally-mandated EnergyGuide labels to estimate the cost savings of energy- efficient home appliances. In a final activity, students explore positive and negative economic incentives that motivate people to conserve energy. Many federal energy-related programs and policies are featured in this lesson. These include, besides the Energy Guide label, EnergyStar certification, the Fuel Economy Guide for motor vehicles, and a diverse collection of taxes, tax breaks and subsidies. In this lesson, students examine options for reducing their dependence on energy resources, especially by substituting people power for other forms of energy and purchasing energy efficient home appliances. Students also explore some of the government programs that are influencing consumer choices in the marketplace.
Credit cards are convenient, user friendly, and at times dangerous. In this lesson students learn the joys and dangers of using credit as they help Credit, the main character in this activity, solve her credit problems.
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