Oil Spills

We depend heavily on oil for energy, manufacturing, and transportation. But when this natural resource pollutes our oceans, seashores, or wetlands, it can have a devastating effect on the environment.

Our oil spill lesson allowed us to learn more about petroleum (also known as crude oil) including: where it comes from, how it is made, and what we use it for. We investigated what happens when humans cause an oil spill and why oil spills can be earth-altering accidents that kill animals, destroy habitats, and damage ecosystems. During the activity, students acted as environmental engineers, and learned a variety of techniques that are used to clean up an oil spill. They may have used booms, absorbents, vacuums, skimmers, and/or dispersants. Ask your child about their oil clean up efforts!


Derrame de Petróleo

 Dependemos en gran medida del petróleo para la producción energética, industrial y para el transporte. Pero, puede recurso natural producir efectos devastadores en nuestro medio ambiente cuando contamina océanos, costas y humedales.

En clase aprendimos sobre el petróleo, específicamente de dónde viene, cómo se procesa y para qué lo usamos. Investigamos qué es lo que sucede cuando los humanos provocan un derrame de petróleo y porqué estos accidentes pueden alterar tanto a nuestro medio ambiente al matar animales, destruir hábitats y dañar ecosistemas. Durante la actividad los estudiantes actuaron como si fueran ingenieros en medioambiente y aprendieron sobre una variedad de técnicas que se utilizan para limpiar los derrames de petróleo. Puede que hayan usado un “boom” (aparato flotante que utilizado para contener el petróleo), materiales absorbentes, aspiradoras y/o dispersantes de aceite. Pregúntele a su hijo o hija sobre el gran esfuerzo que hicieron para limpiar el derrame.

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Phillip has a BS and MS in Biology from Western Washington University, and is currently earning a PhD in Environmental Studies at Antioch University New England. His research interests are in tropical rainforest ecology and animal-plant interactions. He will be doing his doctoral dissertation research on tropical seed dispersal ecology in the montane rainforests of Rwanda. Phillip has taught though various adjunct positions at several colleges in New England, teaching biology, ecology, earth science, environmental science, and general science at Babson College, North Shore Community College, Wheelock College, Merrimack College, and Mount Ida College.

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