School & District Management

Why Spilled Oil Is Worse Than Spilled Milk

By Bryan Toporek — May 24, 2010 1 min read

While BP executives struggle to stop an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, a group of 1st graders in Kansas have been getting their own hands-on experience with oil spills this week in their classroom.

The students watched a presentation about the oil spill in the gulf, then tried to clean oil (made of cocoa powder mixed with vegetable oil) from a bowl of water and from bird feathers. The students learned the difficulties of cleaning the oil—one said, “it’s kind of oily and watery at the same time"—and gained some real-world perspective about an ongoing ecological crisis.

“I felt closer to it because we were doing experiments about it,” student Katherine Fischer said. “It was more important to me.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.