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Oil Spill Lab at the Valdez Museum
Valdez, Alaska, April 14, 2021 – Education Director Faith Revell recently collaborated with local teachers Ann Norris and Kim Keller to present a “hands-on” learning experience at the Valdez Museum for the first time in over a year. On April 6, 2021 the galleries and corridors once again buzzed with excited Gilson Middle School 6th graders during the Oil Spill Lab. It was comprised of hands-on activities that teach about the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS), along with activities that demonstrate the properties of oil and water. Students learn about the effect of oil on wild life, bodies of water and shorelines and the efforts employed to clean up after EVOS. Six stations plus the Museum’s EVOS Exhibit make up the laboratory.
At one station, students first examine a goose feather closely, then experiment, placing it in water and learning that rather than penetrate, the droplets bead up on the feather’s surface. When immersed in an oil and water mix the opposite occurs. Oil penetrates the feather, giving it weight and heft. Efforts to clean the feather using water alone don’t work. The addition of Dawn dishwashing liquid proves more fruitful. Students lastly consider the impact of oil spills on bird populations.
Other activities prompt students to compute how much oil their families use daily; discover cleanup methods such as booms and dispersants; see photographs and originals plus watch a short film that is shown in the Museum’s EVOS Exhibit. The school field trip and Oil Spill Lab dovetails with the 6TH grade science/social studies curriculum as well as an I-Movie project called Sound Perspectives.
For more information contact Faith Revell: firstname.lastname@example.org