IS9705 Oil Spill Cleanup: Biological vs. Physical

In this activity, students will compare two methods of oil spill cleanup: biological and physical. Applying both a special blend of oil degrading microbes and a hydrocarbon encapsulating polymer to oil and examining the results, students will draw conclusions with regard to the effectiveness of each approach. The kit includes a specially prepared stained vegetable oil to simulate crude oil, eliminating any of the hazards and associated disposal costs of the real thing while still allowing the students to perform the procedures using real oil. Kit contains enough materials for 15 groups. Teacher’s Manual and Student Study Guide copymasters are included.

Aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)*

Disciplinary Core Ideas: PS1.A; PS1.B; ESS3.C
Performance Expectations: MS-PS1-2; MS-ESS3-3; HS- ESS3-4
Cross Cutting Concepts: Patterns; Cause and Effect; Stability and Change
Engineering Practices: Analyzing and Interpreting Data; Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Kit Includes:
15g Oil Degrading Microbe Blend
250mL Simulated Crude Oil
1 Nutrient QuickSolution, to make 1000mL
200g Hydrocarbon Encapsulating Powder
32 Plastic Vials
15 Plastic Cups
1 bag Cotton Balls


*”Next Generation Science Standards” is a registered trademark of Achieve. Neither Achieve nor the lead states and partners that developed the Next Generation Science Standards was involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this product.

WARNING: This product can expose you to chemicals including Respirable crystalline silica, which is known to the State of California to cause cancer. For more information go to

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