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BP Oil Spill

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Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

There has been some discussion on the list serve looking for teaching resources related to the BP oil spill. The National Wildlife Federation has developed a site on the BP oil spill for teachers. It includes a section of questions and answers on what kids are asking about the spill. http://www.nwf.org/Global-Warming/School-Solutions/Eco-Schools-USA/Become-an-Eco-School/Special-Report.aspx

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

Hi Pam, I was teaching elementary science lab in the FL panhandle during the oil spill last spring. I used the oil spill as an opportunity to teach k-4 students about "the science behind the news". Since our beaches were directly effected, the events of the oil spill were well known by even the youngest students. To help my students understand what was happening, we reviewed the satellite footage from NASA showing the daily location of oil slick. We also talked about density. For the younger students (k, 1, 2) we talked about how the oil floated on top of the water. For the older students (3 & 4) we discussed the scientific definition of density and why the oil floated on top of the water. We then had stuffed animals that were "in an oil spill" in our classroom. Once the animals were covered in oil, we did an inquiry based lesson to determine which cleaning solution rescuers use to save animals affected by oil spills. The K and 1 students did a guided inquiry lesson with the options of dawn, windex, or lysol. The 2, 3, and 4 students did s full inquiry lesson where they brainstormed ideas of cleaning solutions that would safely clean the animals. The students then wrote and tested their hypothesis to see which product would break up the oil. I stressed that we never want to test on animals because it could hurt them, so the students developed an experiment where they put cooking oil in a test tube that was closed with a cork stopper. Then they added the cleaning solutions and recorded their results. After they determined that dish soap worked the best to break up the oil, they cleaned their stuffed animals. It was really a great way to bring current events into an inquiry-based classroom.

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

Hi Pam, I was teaching elementary science lab in the FL panhandle during the oil spill last spring. I used the oil spill as an opportunity to teach k-4 students about "the science behind the news". Since our beaches were directly effected, the events of the oil spill were well known by even the youngest students. To help my students understand what was happening, we reviewed the satellite footage from NASA showing the daily location of oil slick. We also talked about density. For the younger students (k, 1, 2) we talked about how the oil floated on top of the water. For the older students (3 & 4) we discussed the scientific definition of density and why the oil floated on top of the water. We then had stuffed animals that were "in an oil spill" in our classroom. Once the animals were covered in oil, we did an inquiry based lesson to determine which cleaning solution rescuers use to save animals affected by oil spills. The K and 1 students did a guided inquiry lesson with the options of dawn, windex, or lysol. The 2, 3, and 4 students did s full inquiry lesson where they brainstormed ideas of cleaning solutions that would safely clean the animals. The students then wrote and tested their hypothesis to see which product would break up the oil. I stressed that we never want to test on animals because it could hurt them, so the students developed an experiment where they put cooking oil in a test tube that was closed with a cork stopper. Then they added the cleaning solutions and recorded their results. After they determined that dish soap worked the best to break up the oil, they cleaned their stuffed animals. It was really a great way to bring current events into an inquiry-based classroom.

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

Thanks for the excellent resource link to the National Wildlife Federation - Oil Spill page. They also have a fun site called "Wildlife University" http://www.nwf.org/wildlifeuniversity/creatingplaces.cfm This area has some short multimedia courses that you can access if you set-up a free login account. I've used it for assignment activities with high school students in AP Environmental Science. In the past they had courses on Wolf Conservation, Invasive Species, and other topics. Dorothy Ginnett

Angie Fairweather Angelika Fairweather 12180 Points

The idea to compare BP and the Valdez oil spill is very engaging.I worked in Prince William Sound in 2000 and oil would still surface when you sloshed through some mud on the shore.
There is a web seminar : The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: What are some of the potential short and long-term implications for estuarine health? scheduled February 2, 2011. sign-up...
What were some of the clean-up methods used during BP that were not used in Alaska? What information do we have from the water quality sampling?

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

Hello Everyone -

There was a recent NSTA webseminar on The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. See the NSTA web seminar archive.

Archive: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill: What are some of the potential short and long-term implications for estuarine health? February 2, 2011 http://learningcenter.nsta.org/product_detail.aspx?id=10.2505/9/WSDHO11_Feb02


I attended the live web seminar and it was fantastic! I highly recommend this archived seminar if you missed it. Many excellent teaching resources provided. The focus was on the impacts on Estuaries. Some links to real-time data sets that you can use in your classroom.

Dorothy Ginnett

Jennifer Rahn Jennifer Rahn 67955 Points

Interesting topic. Because of the size of the Gulf spill and the large area, treatment of the spill was handled much differently. Bio-remediation was used in the Exxon Valdez spill, but there is discussion of whether surfactants and disperants might have reduced the effectiveness of bio-remediation. There is so much in the (science) news yet, and the research is just getting underway.

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

Maureen, Please forgive me in being so late in thanking you for your oil spill lesson. I love it!

Pamela Auburn Pamela Auburn 68625 Points

I signed up for the oil spill webcast but as often happens I am in the middle of traffic. The timing in CST is awkward. I often miss these because I am still with students or if not caught in traffic. Thanks for the link to the archive.

Maureen Stover Maureen Stover 41070 Points

Hi Pam, I'm glad you liked the lesson! It's never too early to start teaching about environmental stewardship (and the impact of environmental disasters). I am with you on the difficultly to make it to some of the Web Seminars. There are several that I would really like to attend, but I live in CA, so most of them start at 3:30 pm for me, making it difficult to attend. The archives are fantastic, though. I have accessed the archives on several Web Seminars that I missed, and I've never been disappointed!

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

Hi Pam and Maureen - Yes, it's very difficult to schedule and attend synchronous (live) NSTA webseminars. Thank goodness for the Web Archives. I've used them many times when I could not attend a scheduled session. There has also been an interesting webseminar series this year on Climate Change. Dorothy

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92316 Points

Dorothy, I found a Science Scope article about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill:
An Earth-system Approach to Understanding the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill that might go along with the archived webinar you found.

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

Thanks Carolyn. This resource looks terrific and very current. Dorothy

Patricia Rourke Patricia Rourke 45925 Points

Thanks to everyone for sharing the wonderful resources from the NOAA estuary webinar. NSTA and the Learning Center have new options for archiving and using resources from their webinars. You can add the collection of resources to your library; even uploading the url's to your uploaded resources as easy to do. I encourage all to try this new way to bookmark and use these resources. The powerpoint presentation is also available and I have attached it to this email to facilitate the busy classroom teacher's access time. It is certainly worth a quick review and you may use parts or all of it in your teaching. Patty R Attachment: The_Deepwater_Horizon_Oil_Spill.ppt Type: User Resource Summary: February 2, 2011, PowerPoint Presentation

Attachments

Mathew DiGiovanna Mathew DiGiovanna 1205 Points

Pam, Great activity! Its good to see that something positive can come from such a tragedy. You are inspiring the future scientists of America. It is great for the students to be able to see first hand the dramatic effects that an oil spill can have. Mat

Mathew DiGiovanna Mathew DiGiovanna 1205 Points

Pam, Great activity! Its good to see that something positive can come from such a tragedy. You are inspiring the future scientists of America. It is great for the students to be able to see first hand the dramatic effects that an oil spill can have. Mat

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 64765 Points

Pam wrote, 'I signed up for the oil spill webcast but as often happens I am in the middle of traffic. The timing in CST is awkward. I often miss these because I am still with students or if not caught in traffic. Thanks for the link to the archive.'

Hi Pam,

I completely agree with you that I often miss some great web seminars because of traffic. You will not want miss the archive of this one. The scientists presenting had some fascinating findings and they also provided links so that we as educators could keep up with the ongoing research.

Ruth

Dorothy Ginnett Dorothy Ginnett 28250 Points

One Year Anniversary of Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Disaster:

Heard on the news this morning, Wed. April 20th, that it is the one year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

Good time to reflect upon the disaster and progress in environmental clean-up with students.

Gulf Struggles to Recover One Year after Disaster (MSNBC.com. 4/20/11) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42678819/ns/us_news-environment/

Dorothy

Ann Allison Cooke Allison Cooke 6550 Points

I work with a small group of preteens whose topic for the year has been Taking Care of the Environment. They decided by themselves to focus on the oil spill and are about to host a walk-a-thon to raise money to give to the Greater New Orleans Foundation. Do you all know of something I could help them read that would be for 6th/7th grade to help them compare Valdez and the Gulf, or learn about these methods of clean up? I think they've been mostly focused on the livelihoods of the people around the Gulf. Allison

Ruth Hutson Ruth Hutson 64765 Points

Hi Allison, You may already know this, but Atziri Ibanez, Audra Livergood and Will Underwood presented a NSTA web seminar on February 2, 2011. They spoke briefly about the similarities and diffference of the Deepwater Horizon spill to the Exxon Valdez spill. I've attached a collection I've assembled of NSTA resources related to oil spills. If you look in the web seminar archive, the presenters' contact information is there. They would be able to help you

Effects of an oil spill! Collection (7 items)
Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92316 Points

What a great idea - to compare the Exxon Valdez oil spill to the BP disaster. Here are some other resources about the Exxon Valdez oil spill that may be of interest:
1. audio recording from Captain Hazelwood
2. movie excerpt where president of Exxon speaks to citizens of Prince William Sound right after the oil spill
Another excellent resource is the Teachers Domain. After you register, everything is free. Check out their 'Safeguarding Alaska's Waters' resource among others at that website. (When I typed in 'oil spill', 17 resources popped up.)
Carolyn

Shawna Fischer Shawna Fischer 2300 Points

I got the idea to do a classroom oil spill project from some news articles. storyid=128400Your text to link here... The students love to create a mini habitat and investigate ways to clean the black murky oil that gets poured into their precious habitat. It jumps starts our inquiry project about how to be stewards of the waters of Hawaii. We then start studying the anchialine ponds and learn about the unique resources of Hawaii. It helps the kids to go global with a big problem in the news and then connect it to their local environment.

Morgan Fleetwood Morgan Fleetwood 60 Points

HI all, I have to create a lesson plan for one of my classes. The unit is ecosystems and I was wondering if anyone knew any online games that show how populations are effected in food chain/web that the students are interact with. Thanks!

Carla Brown Carla Brown 70 Points

Hello! This is Carla and I actually work at the National Wildlife Federation. The Ecoschools resource that kicked off this discussion is very popular. I would also recommend a page we made in our Kids website about how to talk with kids about challenging issues such as the oil spill in age appropriate ways. It has been almost two years since the spill, and it is still one of the most popular pages on our website. I think that's because the ideas are relevant for other topics, not just oil spills - http://www.nwf.org/Kids/Ranger-Rick/Parents-and-Educators/How-To-Talk-With-Kids-Gulf-Oil-Spill.aspx. All the best! Carla

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