Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Applied Science Education (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences


Kedmon Hungwe


Bradley Baltensperger


The purpose of this project was to investigate student learning in the areas of earth science and environmental responsibility using the subject of coal fires. Eastern Kentucky, where this study was performed, has several coal fires burning that affect the local air quality and may also affect the health of people living near them. This study was conducted during the regular education of 9th grade Earth Science classroom in Russell Independent Schools, located in Russell, Kentucky. Students conducted internet research, read current articles on the subject of coal fire emissions and effect on local ecology, and demonstrated what they learned through summative assessments. There were several aspects of coalmines and coal fires that students studied. Students were able to take this knowledge and information and use it as a learning tool to gain a better understanding of their own environment. Using the local history and geology of coalmines, along with the long tradition of mine production, was a very beneficial starting point, allowing students to learn about environmental impact, stewardship of their local environment, and methods of preserving and protecting the ecosystem.

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