Creating and Cleaning up an Oil Spill
Purpose: To create an oil spill on the seashore and investigate different methods of cleaning it up
sand (fine)..........blue food coloring
liquid detergent.....4-8 popsicle sticks
kitty litter............baking powder
talcum powder......medicine dropper
blue food coloring..strainer or net
cotton balls..........large rubber band
string................25 mL of vegetable oil (or oil from a gas station)
feather...............straw (or fan) for waves
stream table or large shallow pan & water
1. Set the stream table on a flat, level surface. Seal the drainage
2. Use fine sand to create a model of a beach. Cover 1/4 of the total area to about 3 cm deep.
3. Fill the remainder of the table with water.....add a few drops of blue food coloring.
4. Blow through the straw or use the fan to create waves...one every 1 to 2 seconds.
5. From a position of about 5 cm in front of the waves, carefully pour in 25 mL of oil.
6. Record observations of how the oil behaves in the water.
7. As the "oil spill" spreads out, carefully stick your finger into the center. Record what happens when you remove your finger.
8. Insert the feather into the "oil spill". Describe what happens.
9. Use the supplies provided to try contain and collect the oil. Make a list of the materials used and describe the result of your efforts in containing the spill.
10. Add the liquid detergent. Record your observation.
1. How does the oil spill behave in water?....Did it stay in one place?
2. What happens to objects when they are dipped into the oil in the water?
3. How is the feather changed by the contact with the oil?
4. Which methods worked best in containing or removing the oil?
5. What effect did the liquid detergent have when it came in contact with the oil?
6. What effect did the "oil spill" have on the seashore?
7. What effect did the waves have on the spill?
8. What did you do that made the spill spread?.....What conditions were you simulating?
Cleaning the animals: put some salad oil on donated, stuffed animals and try various methods to clean it off.