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Save the Water


Students asked to work in teams to clean up water from a simulated oil spill. Experientially understanding the difficulty of the undertaking, they discuss the consequences for the people and the natural environment.

Learning objectives

  • Problem-solving.

  • Develop team thinking and working.

  • They are questioning the effect of human activity on the environment.


Suggested age group

2nd Grade


50 minutes

Fields in S.T.E.A.M.

  • Sciences

  • Technology


For “oil”

  • A glass of sunflower oil.

  • Cocoa.

  • Spoon.

  • Bowl with water.

For water purification:

  • Glasses.

  • Cotton.

  • Spoons.



Students learn about oil and its transportation in giant tankers.Unfortunately, the tankers often get damaged, releasing large quantities of oil into the sea.

Then the students discuss the consequences for the environment.


Mix sunflower oil with cocoa and create a thick liquid. The texture is like petroleum. Mixing it with water (in a bowl), you notice that the water and the “oil” do not mix. The “oil” forms spots, which can be removed.


The class works into groups of 4 or 5 people. Each team must clean up the oil spill.


  • What happens when we use glasses to remove the “oil”?

  • Are we removing too much water at the same time?

  • How much time do we need to remove the “oil” in greater detail (with a spoon or cotton)?


The teacher asked each team to decide how to act and start this difficult task.

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