Oil on the Ocean

Type of Resource



Students learn about oil spills and their environmental and economic effects. They experience the steps of the engineering design process as they brainstorm potential methods for oil spill clean-up, and then design, build and re-design oil booms to prevent the spread of oil spills. During a reflective session after cleaning up their oil booms, students come up with ideas on how to reduce oil consumption to prevent future oil spills.

Performance Expectations

5-ESS3-1   Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.

3-5-ETS1-1   Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost.

3-5-ETS1-3   Plan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.