Fermilab LInC Online

Survivor Hook Page

"÷suddenly, I heard a whooshing sound, like the sound you get when you open a vacuum-sealed can of peanuts. Then the brown water that had puddle up all over the field began to move. It began to run toward the back portables, like someone had pulled the plug out of a giant bathtub. Next came a crack-crack-cracking sound. The boards began to come apart, and the loose mud under the walkways began to slide toward that giant bathtub drain.

One after another the doors of the portables opened and the teachers looked out, staring into the dense rain, trying to spot the cause of all this commotion. Mr. Ward opened the door of Portable 19. He stepped out onto the porch and looked around back. Across the field, the kids from Ms. Alvarez's portable came walking out with their belongings, in single file, like they were supposed to do in a fire drill. Other teachers saw that and started their kids out, too. But suddenly there was a larger sound. A louder whoosh turned every head and opened every eye in that rainy field. Then the walkways started to heave up and down, making terrible splintering noises.

Immediately kids started screaming and vaulting over the handrails, landing in the ankle-deep mud. Another whoosh and more violent cracking sounds followed. Then every seventh and eighth grader started to pour out of those portables, some still calm, some panicking.

There was instant and total chaos in the back row, the one nearest to the football field, because the portables themselves were starting to break apart and move. The kids came diving out, jamming in the doorways, pushing into the backs of other kids, knocking each other flat on the disintegrating boardwalk. They knocked each other into the moving mudslide that was now swirling in a circle around them.

"What is it?" I yelled to Joey. "An earthquake?"

"No! Sinkhole, man! It's a sinkhole!÷"

Imagine yourself as a transplanted student from Texas living in south Florida. How would you react to such an emergency? How would other students react to the same situation? Conduct a poll of the other students in your class to determine how they would react to this situation. What other types of natural disasters or events could threaten your own survival? What popular films have you seen that depict disasterous events on a global scale? Analyze a protagonist's emotional reaction to the sinkhole emergency. Conduct an opinion poll as to how other students would react in the same situation. What type of events would threaten their survival here at Vallejo High School. Suggest various popular films or documentaries that depict disastrous events on a global scale.






Go to Scenario 1 2 3



Created for the Fermilab LInC program sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab, and funded by United States Department of Energy, Illinois State Board of Education, North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium which is operated by North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), and the National Science Foundation.

Author(s): David Tillay (vhsdtillay@hotmail.com), Scott Hopgood (scotthopgood@hotmail.com), and Linda Nelson (vhsivaloo@hotmail.com)
School: Vallejo High School, Vallejo, Ca.
Created: February 15, 2001 - Updated: December 28, 2002
URL: http://www-ed.fnal.gov/lincon/w01/projects/survivor/hookpage.htm