Oil Spill Simulation Lab is a great addition to any ecology, ecological succession or environmental care unit or lesson plan. Lab takes students through simulation, starting with checking off needed materials, going through multiple steps of investigation, drawing, and inferring, and finishing up with a written reflection of the activity.
Materials needed for activity are:
1. 2 clear cups
2. tin pan
3. 1 cup water
4. 2 feathers
5. 4 cotton balls
7. 1 cup canola oil
8. 1 tbsp. coco powder (mixed with canola oil gives it a thick dark look to mimic crude oil)
10. 1 tbsp. dish soap
Timing depends on your students; generally this lab should take the time allotted to a normal class period (40-45 minutes). If your students need more guidance, you may need to split the lab into 2 sections. You could give directions for completing the simulation verbally as students walk through steps, and then save the lab sheet to complete on the following day.
Make sure to take time to ask questions and encourage students to ask, too! These types of activities are perfect for fostering deep discussions about topics that students care for.
Martha from “The Owl Spot”