1. Have students read the material on The Saga of Thomas A. Midgley Jr. Midgley had a hand in synthesizing leaded gasoline and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Have them answer the questions at the end of the text.
Another option for this reading is to have them imagine they are reporters during the lifetime of Thomas Midgley. Their job is to:
Write a brief piece for a newspaper article on Thomas Midgley, a scientist who has had an effect on our lives. Imagine the year is 1940.
Now write a similar article about Thomas Midgley for a modern newspaper. What is the main difference in the content of the two articles? [Scientists can’t be sure what the future will bring; they can only work in their own time.] How do you think Midgley should be remembered fairly? [Answers will vary.]
2. Have students write an essay on: Has air quality improved in Michigan since 1967? If so, why? They must defend their position with evidence.