My name is Megann Kinseth and I am a pre-service teacher at Wartburg College. Earlier this year, there was a group in my science methods class that demonstrated an oil spill activity to display the importance of taking care of our planet. The oil spill activity was interactive and hands on. Students (pre-service teachers) were given a pan with water and the teachers put vegetable oil and cocoa powder to make it look like crude oil. The students presenting had pre-service teachers try to get the oil out of the water with just spoons, dish soap, cups, and a sponge. We worked together in small groups and had to problem solve with little to no help from the presenters. This lesson allows students to problem solve and apply these skills to a real life issue. After the lesson, we began to think about how our actions as humans can affect our planet and it is important we take care of our planet by recycling, reusing, reducing, and disposing of harmful products appropriately.
I went on pinterest and found a similar version of the lesson if you want to check it out: http://stemactivitiesforkids.com/2016/04/22/earth-day-stem-challenge/
Wartburg Pre-service teacher