New search

Tracy J. Terry
Assistant Professor
tjterry@unm.edu
Division of Science and Wellness
The University of New Mexico—Valencia Campus
The Flint Water Crisis : An Introduction to Chemical Reactions

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan, provides a compelling context for understanding the importance of each of the major classes of chemical reactions: precipitation reactions, acid-base reactions, and oxidation-reduction reactions. Each of these reaction types was integral to the failure of the water system in Flint and led to traumatic results for the local inhabitants. Students prepare for this case study by reading an article from Chemical & Engineering News, reviewing the definitions of these reaction types in their textbook, and answering a set of ten questions. The classroom activity is guided by a PowerPoint presentation with further information and an additional series of questions that students work through in class. The case is suitable for high school and lower-level undergraduate general chemistry students.