This investigative case module was prepared as part of a BioQUEST faculty development workshop entitled Faculty Workshop: Implementing Investigative Cases and Technology in Biology and Chemistry at Center for Science Education in August 2004. The cases, resources, and implementation strategies were developed by participants for use with their own students. We invite you to adopt and adapt the following materials.

The BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium is committed to the reform of undergraduate biology instruction through an emphasis on engaging students in realistic scientific practices. This approach is sometimes characterized as an inquiry driven approach and is captured in BioQUEST's three P's (problem-posing, problem-solving, and peer-persuasion). As part of this workshop groups of faculty were encouraged to initiate innovative curricular projects. We are sharing these works in progress in the hope that they will stimulate further exploration, collaboration and development. Please see the following links for additional information:

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Investigative Cases
The Case: Why are Historic Monuments Deteriorating ?

Fig.1 Marble Statue Five Years Ago and at Present

South Canton is a old settlement just north of the Canadian border. South of the border lies North Canton, a much more recently developed industrial town.

The new mayor of South Canton has been asked to address the problem of the statues located in central park. Many statues are either tarnished or are disfigured. The mayor is considering approaching the local college chemistry department to investigate the statues and to explain to the city council members why these statues were deteriorating and what the city council should do.

Case Author:
Subhash Bhatia Morehouse College

Case Analysis

Climate,wind direction,meterology,acid rain, acids. chemical reactions,chemical composition.

Option: Include a know / need to know chart like the one below:

What do you know?
What do you need to know?

Learning Goals


Communicating scientific conclusions to public.
Weather patterns and environmental effects.
International agreements.
Chemical emissions.
Diffusion, transport, and transformation of chemicals.



Investigations and Activities

Searching inernet for the information.
Making decision on the relevance and reliability of the source of information.
Reading of the assigned textbook.
Labs may be performed. For example, qualitative analysis, atomic absorption, chemical reactions.



Guidelines for the Case Study.
1. List the observations you will make.
2. List the approaches you will undertake to assess the situation.
3. Methodology you follow to determine the relevant factors in order to explain the observations.
4. Physical, Chemical, and Bological techniques you will utilize to establish the cause(s) for observed facts.
5. Propose hypothesis(as) and theory to explain the observe facts.
6. How will you test the proposed theory?
7. Suggest possible solution(s) to the problem. Please discuss the possible social,economical, political, and scientific ramifications of the proposed solution(s).
EPA website,NASA websites,BioQuest, Published articles,Chemistry Textbook

Students will usually obtain additional references or resources
to help answer or explore their questions.

Special Data Items


Student Products

Students are expected to write two papers.
First paper should be written for the group which has limited scientific knowledge.
Second paper should be written for your classmates following the guidelines for case study.

Assessment and Evaluation Plan

First Paper: 25 points
Second Paper: 75 points
Students will be given pre and post Questionnaire on Acid Rain.
Create rubrics based on the guidelines for case study.



Introduce this case in the topic of Acid Rain

Course name:
Chemistry and Physics of Atmosphere
Likely sequence in syllabus:
Troposheric Chemistry
Time during term:
Middle of the semster
2 weeks
Lecture, lab
Students in course:
Collaborative elements:
Additional notes:



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