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Earth's Spheres and Cycles Unit STEM Oil Spill Lab

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This is a great interactive, engaging unit bundle targeted for an older age group grades 5-9. This unit displays the content in a variety of ways and has built in hands on activities. I choose to utilize the bundle as seen bellow. It is up to you how you choose to implement it into your classroom. I hope it brings you as much success as it did for me!

Day 1: Introduced Earth's Cycles and Spheres Unit
Read Earth's Spheres Article as class and completed comprehension check

Day 2: Earth's Spheres Notes (Green Powerpoint Presentation)

Day 3: Discussed how spheres interact
Completed Sphere interaction task cards
Worked on writing prompt when finished


Day 4: Introduced Earth's Cycles
Watched Brain pop videos on rock cycle, water cycle, carbon cycle, and nitrogen cycle

Day 5-7: Earth's Cycle's Notes
I choose to print out the Earth's Cycles powerpoint (1 for each group) and had students work through each slide as a group they wrote the slide in their notes first and then discussed to help facilitate discussion I provided students with popsicle sticks with sentence starters on each popsicle stick. Each student got 4 stick the sentence starters I wrote on each were:
The diagram shows...
I infer that...
My question is...
I discovered...

If you choose not to do discussion you can present it as a traditional power point presentation

Day 8: Took Earth's Cycles Quiz then did lab

Day 8-9: Oil Spill STEM Lab
Students worked in groups to recreate oil spill. Each group was given a brownie pan with water and a rock. The Rock represented the land and the water represented the ocean. I put black food coloring in vegetable oil to create oil. Helpful Hint: The oil and food coloring will not mix to make it black until it is put into the water. I scooped one spoonful of "oil" into each group's pan. Students tested 3 oil spill clean up methods: absorbent, skimming, and dispersant. They first skimmed the oil by scooping it out with a plastic spoon into a graduated cylindered and measured how much oil vs. water they extracted. Next they tried an absorbent cloth. I used medical pads. They dabbed oil with pad. Finally they used a dispersant which was dawn soap. This method worked the best. The students rated effectiveness and cost of each method from an oil company owner perspective and environmentalist perspective then they graphed data.
I then allowed students to make their graphs on google docs.

Day 10: Earth's Cycles and Sphere Study Guide

Day 11: Kahoot
https://play.kahoot.it/#/k/4203d5a5-1487-4c98-8905-c8cbcd3216f1

Day 12: Earth's Sphere and Cycles Final Exam
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Earth's Spheres and Cycles Unit STEM Oil Spill Lab
Earth's Spheres and Cycles Unit STEM Oil Spill Lab
Earth's Spheres and Cycles Unit STEM Oil Spill Lab
Earth's Spheres and Cycles Unit STEM Oil Spill Lab
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