As oil continues to gush into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and threatens to seep into the Atlantic, we all are frustrated and discouraged. Both the environmental and economic consequences are tragic.
However, could there be a partial silver lining amidst the iridescent slicks and black tar balls? Believe it or not, some science teachers think, yes. ABC News reports that many teachers are using the oil spill as a “teachable moment.” Teachers nationwide are recreating gulf beaches in their classrooms, using sand, water, cocoa powder and cooking grease to simulate the crude oil. Other teachers are encouraging their students to role-play, acting as the government officials and scientists who are working to stop the spill.
With all the media hype, teachers have had little trouble generating interest in what is now the largest oil spill in US history. Of course, students’ interest and enthusiasm could never compensate for the tragic consequences of the spill, but it is nonetheless encouraging that they are passionate about the cause. Continue reading here to find out more about how students are learning and what they are doing to help.