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Periodic Table - Ypsilanti

Subject(s): Science, ELA, SS
School: Ypsilanti
 Grade Level: 7th and 8th grades
Author(s): Porterfield, Karalash, Karen Stapleton-Bower, Nesmith  
Synopsis: Students will research a rare earth element to determine it’s value/usefulness to the US economy.

Driving Question: You have just been hired to serve as a summer intern for Congressman Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget committee. As a congressional intern, your duty is to assist his staff and conduct research for the congressman.

Since the congressman is the primary legislator responsible for helping the President manage the nation’s finances, he is very concerned with reducing the government’s debt (which currently stands at over 55 trillion dollars!).    Show students: http://www.usdebtclock.org/

To help improve the U.S. economy and stop the nation’s debt from rising, Congressman Ryan has gotten permission from the Treasury Dept. to invest government dollars in the rare earth mining industry. This highly profitable business, currently dominated by China, produces the minerals necessary for the production of modern devices such as cell phones, laser instruments, and computers.

Your first task as an intern is to conduct research to help the congressman decide which rare earth mineral the U.S. government should invest in. Your findings will be presented to Congress and must be professionally prepared and thorough!

Remember! Your goal is to answer the following question: What rare earth element would you recommend the U.S. export to help reduce it’s national debt?

To learn more about this project, click here: _Periodic Table-Ypsi.pdf


Please limit use of the "Comments" section to share how you have used the project, and what adjustments you made


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