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Students simulate deep-ocean and beach crude oil spills as they engage in the work of an environmental engineering team using models to learn the properties of oil and experience how scientists and engineers approach oil spill disasters. Six activities not only teach environmental impact, basic oil biology, micelle structures, and chemistry concepts such as hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions, but also have students simulating basic oil containment and removal techniques using their own oil spill models. Includes a quantitative analysis of absorbent materials, hands on skimming and dispersant activities, and an experimental introduction to the concept of bioremediation. Students work as a team to research and systematically design an oil spill solution, use the iterative cycle to improve their solution, and learn to argue their points of view. Great for applying knowledge and teaching higher order thinking skills including creative thinking, reasoning, decision making, and problem solving. Plan to spend several weeks on the oil spill unit. Designed to accommodate 24 students working in groups of two.
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