Friday, March 2, 2018

Original Post 5/20/2014

Ugh!  Another oil spill affecting Hamilton County has dirtied up the Ohio River. The oil spill occurred in New Richmond and has dumped about 5,000-8,000 gallons of oil into the river. This is the second oil spill in our area this year, the first one being in Colerain Township, where a pipe burst and approximately 10,000 gallons of oil leaked into the Oak Glen Nature Preserve. These events are heart-breaking and we often become very upset at the perpetrators (and they do deserve some flack), but I always ask the students "Who's demanding this oil? Aren't they responsible too?" Below is an image of many things made from oil that we don't even think of! By demanding more "stuff", not turning off the lights, not unplugging electronics/appliances or not carpooling, biking, or walking when available we are contributing to the oil demand. Not to mention that everything made from plastic uses oil at some point!

Fortunately, we can turn this into a teachable moment for our kids and ourselves! Below are some topics and/or activities that you can bring into the classroom that can relate to the oil spill or natural resources.
  • Animal Impact:   You can try No Water Off a Duck's Back from Project WILD or we can bring Who's Dining in Ohio Rivers?
  • Watersheds:  We can bring Water Wanders, the Sum of All Parts or you could book our Really Big Watershed Game (requires 20x20  space and students rotating to the game giant game board).
  • Habitat/Land Effect:  Try Toil for Oil to talk about social, economic or environmental impacts of oil extraction or have us out to do Cookie Mining
  • Natural Resources:  We can do the Resource Relay to talk to students about the difference and impact of renewable vs. nonrenewable resources and the future of both.
  • Groundwater:  Have some fun and try the Edible Aquifer!

So, how do you book these programs, you ask?  Go to the Classroom Presentations link and click on Book Niki or Book Gwen to access our online scheduling calendar.  *Note: "Duration Time" on the calendar indicates the entire length of time that we will be at your school, including breaks and all presentations.

While you are at it, if you are a 3rd-5th grade teacher unsure about teaching the new science standards regarding landforms (including cave and karst), Ohio's geologic present and past or fossils, then come to our Project Underground Teacher Workshop!  Interested in a worm bin? We have two of those workshops coming up as well.  Go to the Teacher Workshops page to learn more and sign up! 

We know standards are changing and so are your curriculums, so if you have any suggestions for our offerings please feel free to let us know.  It especially helps if you fill out the post-presentation survey online that we send after coming to your school. We are looking forward to working with you all for another exciting school year!   

Niki Marengo
Education Assistant

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