Oil Spill Cleanup

This hands-on activity will provide students with an understanding of the issues that surround environmental clean-up. Students will create their own oil spill, try different methods for cleaning it up, and then discuss the merits of each method in terms of effectiveness (cleanliness) and cost. They will be asked to put themselves in the place of both an environmental engineer and an oil company owner who are responsible for the clean-up.

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Sharon D. Perez-Suarez
Melissa Straten
Malinda Schaefer Zarske
Janet Yowell
TeachEngineering of Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, CU Boulder

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Educator needs to introduce the physics behind oil spills in more depth (eg. properties of oil) to ensure student learning.

Great extension activities that support different aspects of the activity and allow greater depth (e.g. bird feather cleaning).

Additional information about the Gulf Oil Spill of 2010 would be a good supplement to this activity.

There is another activity about oil spills on TeachEngineering: http://www.teachengineering.com/view_lesson.php?url=http://www.teachengi... that could be a useful supplement to this activity.

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