Science is a new way to teach middle school science. It is an
award-winning, standards-based program in which newsworthy events
establish the relevance of science topics; authentic tasks create the
need-to-know more about those topics; and lively interviews,
photographs, Web pages, and inquiry-based science activities create a
desire to know more about those topics.
Oil Spill! is an Event-Based Science
module about oceanography. It uses the 1989 spill of over 10 million
gallons of oil from the tanker Exxon Valdez to establish the context
for exploring concepts related to shoreline oceanography. The task in Oil
Spill! requires students to examine competing sites for a new oil
terminal. Students acquire then use their new knowledge of tides,
currents, marine life, and harbor topography to advise an oil company.
with all Event-Based Science modules, much of the information that
students need is provided in the pages of Oil Spill!. However,
more information is needed. Students need information about the six
cities that are being considered for three terminal sites. They also
need information about booms and skimmers--the tools of the cleanup
are some World-Wide Web sites where information is available. Click on
the highlighted words and be linked with sites where helpful
information can be found.
Between 1995 and 2017 the Event-Based
Science website was available
free to all users. We want to continue making the site available free,
but to do that we need your help. We're hoping that small contributions
will provide the support we need to continue publishing.
Please click the Donate button below and give what you can.
No contribution is too small!
5/3/99 (Austin, TX) A wording problem has been found
in the "When Do We Sail, Captain?" Science Activity on page 22. The
offending wording is found in the right-hand column and reads as
follows: "..simply add
positive numbers and subtract negative numbers from the charted depth."
The problem is that when negative numbers are subtracted, the effect is
similar to adding a positive number. The correct wording should be: "...simply add the tide numbers to the
charted depth; but keep in mind that you may have to add negative
to Dr. Paul Myers (Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science,
Trinity University, San Antonio, TX) for catching this error and
providing the correct wording.
task in Oil Spill! involves evaluating six different harbors.
Below are three photographs of the San Diego Harbor. We are eager to
post photographs of San Francisco, Galveston, Pensacola, Charleston,
and Baltimore too. If you have photos of these other harbors please
call us (1-800-327-7252) to arrange for adding your photos to this
page. Click on each image to view its full-size version.
Links to Oil
Spill! related WEB Sites
(Links are checked monthly. They were working on the day of the last
Tide PredictionsThis site allows you to
calculate tidal predictions for more than 3000 tide stations. The list
of stations has been broken down into states and other areas for which
there are tide stations. Each state is further broken into regions. This site also provides access to historical tide data.
Selecting a Harbor: Oceanography and the Impact of
Oil Spills This site provides an extensive elaboration of the
Event-Based Science Oil Spill! module. Prepared for use by students at
West Chicago Middle School, West Chicago, IL. It was written by Jill
Mueller (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Pat Pentek (email@example.com) of West
Chicago Middle School. Created for The Fermilab LInC sponsored by Fermi
National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office, and Friends of
Fermilab, and the Illinois State Board of Education.
Two exciting additions to Oil Spill! are available at this site, a "job
application form" and a "job offer letter." You will find these forms
by following the link to student pages. Use them to enhance the
realness of Oil Spill!.
National Data Buoy Center Near-real-time data from the last 72 hours are available
on this server. Links will lead you to an individual station's page.
There you will find real-time meteorological and wave observations (if
that station is currently active), detailed wave summaries (for
stations with active wave gauges), and the latest National Weather
Service marine forecasts. Historical data and information about the
station are also available from the same page.
Station 44009 -
Southeast of Cape May, NJ Courtesy NOAA
Big is an Oil Tanker? This site contains an activity on
measuring an oil tanker, the size of the Exxon Valdez. It gives
students a much better understanding of the size of a typical oil
tanker. In addition, the students are asked to sketch a scale drawing
of a typical oil tanker
The EXXON VALDEZ ran
aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska on March 24,
1989, spilling 10.8 million gallons of oil into the marine environment.
It is currently #53 on the all-time list of largest oil spills. NOAA
Oil Spill Remediation
Learn about Petroleum Remediation Product (PRP) an award-winning
oil-spill cleaning powder.
Oil Spill Cleanup
Equipment Information about booms, skimmers, and other cleanup
equipment. This information will be especially helpful to the Risk
Planner on your team.
Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Restoration Web Site This site is
supported by the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council and provides
information about the impact of the oil spill, the status of recovery
of injured resources and services and information about ongoing
restoration and research.
William's Oily Mess: A Tale of Recovery A new educational case
study describing the impacts and recovery of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil
spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound is now available from the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Ocean
Service. NOAA is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Office of Response and Restoration This site has tools and
information for emergency responders and planners, and others working
to understand and mitigate the effects of oil and hazardous materials
in our waters and along our coasts.
U.S. Census Bureau
Maps and population information that will help the Economist on your
Stowaway Adventure This multidisciplinary Internet-based
learning experience has been designed to expose students to real-world
problem solving through unique uses of instructional technologies. In
particular, students will use real-time data from the Internet to track
a real ship at sea, determine its destination and predict when it will
arrive. In addition, they will have the opportunity to monitor the
weather conditions at sea and predict when rough weather might impact
on the ship's arrival time. (This project is developed and managed by
the Center for Improved Engineering and Science Education
(CIESE) which is located at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken,
Gulf Stream Voyage is an online multidisciplinary project which
utilizes both real time data and primary source materials to help guide
students to discover the science and history of the Gulf Stream.
Students will investigate the driving forces behind this great ocean
current, how it affects the Atlantic Ocean and some of mankind's
experiences dealing with it. This voyage includes activities for marine
science, earth science, chemistry, physics, biology, math, history and
language arts. All may be easily used in today's technology enhanced
classroom. (This project is developed and managed by the Center for
Improved Engineering and Science Education (CIESE) which is located
at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey.)
and Water LevelsAt this NOAA site, you will find three
sections devoted to learning about tides and water levels: an online
tutorial, an educational roadmap to resources, and formal lesson plans.