Pollution-Free Alburquerque: A WebQuest for First & Third Year High School
Authored by A. Jandayan, E. Salon, and P. Arinto
During the summertime, the dumpsite area becomes a living hell. The intense heat
of the sun causes some kind of chemical combustion that cause smoke to come out
of the garbage pile, which engulfs the whole area. Breathing becomes a problem,
leading to asthmas and allergies. When the rain comes, the Payatas area becomes
a water trap. This produces other forms of sickness such as diarrhea, typhoid,
worms, and other forms of stomach illness. In some instances the illness
progresses to irreversible physical damage leading to death.
This photo and description are of the Payatas dumpsite in Metro Manila. But a
few years from now, these could well be about any other town in the Philippines,
including ours. Pollution is everywhere, even in Alburquerque, Bohol.
Composed of 11 barangays, Alburquerque is a fishing village famous for its
pottery and calamay products. It is the home of more than 7,000 inhabitants. A
sweeping look around the village suggests that it is a pristinely clean
community. But is it? Letís find out for ourselves.
As members of the community, you have been chosen to conduct research on the
causes, effects, and prevention of pollution in the 11 barangays of our town.
You will work in groups of four or five members. Each group will study the four
types of pollution in a barangay (air, water, land, and noise), their causes,
and their effects on health and quality of life. Your output will be a collage
showing all of the above information.
1. Your teacher will divide the class into groups of five members each. Each
group member must choose a role to play. The roles are:
|Pollution Expert #1
||Do research on extent and causes of land and water pollution
in the barangay assigned to the group
|Pollution Expert #2
||Do research on the extent and causes of air and noise
pollution in the barangay assigned to the group
||Find out the effects on the health of barangay inhabitants
of the four forms of pollution
||Find out how the pollution in the barangay is being
addressed by barangay inhabitants. If there are no anti-pollution measures in place,
then make concrete suggestions for reducing and/or preventing pollution in
||Take pictures of instances of pollution in the barangay, and
illustrate the measures for reducing and/or preventing pollution in the
Each group will be assigned one barangay to study.
2. Begin your research work by doing some background reading. Here are some
websites you can use, in addition to your textbooks and class discussion of the
various types of pollution.
Index to web resources on pollution
(Click on the links to websites on air, land, noise, and water pollution)
Causes and Sources of Surface Water Pollution
Air Pollution - Causes
Causes and Effects of Noise Pollution
You have one week to do the background research.
3. Do your field research. That is, as a group visit the barangay assigned to
you and look for signs of land, air, water and noise pollution. Interview some
of the barangay inhabitants, the barangay captain, the local Department of
Environment and Natural Resources official, and the barangay health workers and
ask them for examples of land, air, water and noise pollution in their barangay,
and the effects of these on the peopleís health. Ask also about what the
barangay is doing or intends to do to address their pollution problems.
Since you have only one day to visit the barangay, it would be best to prepare
for this visit very carefully. Your teacher should send a letter to the barangay
captain informing him/her of your visit and its purpose (including the date) and
requesting that you be allowed to interview him/her and other barangay folk. You
should write down the questions you need to ask. You should also bring a
notebook and some pens for note-taking.
An important step in preparing for the interview is doing the background
reading. You should have general knowledge about pollution, its different forms,
and its effects BEFORE you visit the barangay. Then you can ask specific
questions or look for specific examples when you visit the barangay. For
example, from your background reading you know that air pollution causes asthma,
among others. You can then ask the barangay health worker if there are cases of
asthma in the barangay and whether these are caused by air pollutants.
Do the interviews as a group so that your informants/interviewees will not
be annoyed by having to give separate interviews. Be sure to take down detailed
notes, including the names of informants/interviewees.
4. After you have gathered all of the data that you need, consolidate your groupís
findings and prepare your groupís collage.
You have one week to do this. Your teacher will put up all of the collages
around your classroom for everyone to see so make sure that your collage contains the
right information, is comprehensible, and is appealing/interesting to viewers.
Be creative. For guidance on how your collage will be graded, see the Evaluation
Submit your collage on the due date.
5. Accomplish the self-assessment and peer evaluation forms and submit these to
your teacher on the due date.
Your groupís collage will be evaluated using the following rubric:
||The collage contains specific information on the causes and
effects of pollution in the barangay, as well as concrete measures for
reducing the pollution in the barangay.
||The information given is specific to the barangay but is
incomplete. For example, not enough concrete measures for reducing pollution
are given or one form of pollution is left out.
||The information presented in the collage is too general (not
specific to the barangay) or is very much incomplete (for example, only one
form of pollution is included).
||The contents of the collage are well organized or logically
presented. Or the contents are presented in a way that immediately makes
sense to the viewer.
||The contents of the collage are mostly well organized. Only
one or two items are out of place. Or the organization of information in the
collage is such that some items are not properly emphasized.
||The information is poorly organized. Information is mixed up
or is presented in a confusing way.
||The collage is visually appealing, with the correct
combination of text and photos/ drawings and appropriate choice of color.
||The visual appeal of the collage is not so strong because
some pictures, illustrations, or text are lacking or not well highlighted,
or colors are not well chosen.
||The collage has little or no visual appeal, as there are too
few pictures or illustrations, the text and pictures do not complement each
other, and the colors clash or do not go well together.
Your individual grades will be computed from the score for your group
output, your score in the self-assessment, and your score in the peer
||Percent of Total Score for Project
|Group output (collage)
You will learn from doing this webquest that pollution has many causes, some
easily determined and others much harder to figure out. You should also find out
several ways to prevent pollution and dispose of hazardous materials properly.
Sometimes there are alternative resources that may be used in place of hazardous
materials, and other times you just have to know how to use them properly. You
have an important role to play in keeping the balance of nature. Make your
environment a safe and healthy place to live in.