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Oil Spills: A Slick Trick to Treat

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Portable Document Format
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Description This teaching resource was developed by a K-12 science teacher in the American Physiological Society’s 2007 Frontiers in Physiology Program. For more information on this program, please visit www.frontiersinphys.org. This set of activities will be used when teaching ecology, specifically environmental pollution/destruction. Students will learn about the impacts oil spills and oil leakage have on the environment. Further, they will explore the difficulties associated developing methods that could be used to clean or contain an oil spill. Upon completion of this activity, students will be able to explore the impact of oil drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and compare/contrast it with the potential for oil spills. associated with transporting oil across oceans.
Type of Resource Laboratory or Hands-On Activity
Format Portable Document Format - PDF
Jonni Miller, Assumption High School
Development Date August 1, 2007
Grade/Age Level High School lower division (Grades 9-10)
National Science
Educational Standards
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (K-12), Environmental quality (9-12), Interdependence of organisms (9-12), Natural and human-induced hazards (9-12), Natural resources (9-12), Understandings about scientific inquiry (K-12)
Learning Time 2-3 hours
Language English
Type of Review Reviewed By LifeSciTRC Board
Review Date December 6, 2010
Suggested Use

This is a wonderful resource for a high school biology or environmental science class. There are 3 main activities in this resource:

(1) Internet research on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to learn more about what fossil fuels are and how we obtain them

(2) A lab activity in which students devise the best method for cleaning up an oil spill

(3) More internet research on the environmental impacts of oil spills as well as clean-up methods

There are detailed instructions for all of these activities, and the internet links are to high-quality websites.  The lab activity looks like it will really engage students in the topic.  I also like how there are ideas for further exploration as well as suggestions for assessment. 

Ashley Young, Innovation Academy Charter School


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