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Third Grade Ecology Lab Simulates Oil Spill Recovery

As a part of their Ecology studies, Indian Creek third grade students are learning about environmental disasters.  One type of disaster they are learning about is the oil spill.  Oil spills penetrate into the anatomy of birds and the fur of mammals, reducing their insulating ability, and making them more vulnerable to temperature fluctuations while in the water. Cleanup and recovery from an oil spill is difficult and depends upon many factors, including the type of oil spilled, the temperature of the water, and the types of shorelines and beaches involved.  

During STEM Lab, students were challenged to clean up after an oil spill. The third graders worked in teams to clean up "oil" from a simulated oil spill disaster (using vegetable oil, cocoa powder and Dawn dish soap) that included fake birds, feathers, and other plastic creatures to represent marine life. The students found that removing oil from wildlife and the environment can be quite difficult.
Indian Creek school is a co-educational, college preparatory independent school, located in Crownsville, Maryland.  Students in Pre-K3 through grade 12 receive a vibrant educational experience based on excellent academics steeped in strong student-teacher connections.