After weeks of learning about oil, where it comes from, how it is made, and significant oils spills in the U.S. Students were faced with the challenge of removing as much oil as they can from a container of water, while trying to maintain as much "ocean" water as they can in their container.
Each group was able to pick which material they wanted to use to remove the oil. The materials they brainstormed weeks before that might remove the oil: pipettes, cup, spoon, sponges, paper towels, rags, and straws.
After the 5 minutes were up they were given to remove the oil, (emphasizing the urgency in real life to contain and clean up oil spills), we placed brown paper on top of the containers. We took the brown paper off that absorbed the rest of the oil that was in their container. We then measured how much water they were able to maintain in the containers, just as if this was an oil spill in an ocean, we wouldn't want to remove a lot of ocean water because we need to maintain the habitat of the animals that live there.