CU-Boulder Chemical Engineering Students To Lead Oil Spill Simulation At Middle School

Published: Feb. 25, 2001

More than 300 students at Boulder's Southern Hills Middle School will experience first-hand the challenges faced by chemical engineers through an oil spill simulation exercise led by CU-Boulder chemical engineering undergraduates on Thursday and Friday March 1-2.

About 50 undergraduate volunteers will lead the simulation exercise in sixth and seventh grade classrooms. The outreach effort is organized by the student chapter of the American Institute for Chemical Engineering at CU-Boulder.

The exercise will be done in different classes at different times on Thursday morning and Friday afternoon, with teachers Mike O'Neill, Linda Garcia and Lois Pritchard. Southern Hills Middle School is located at 1500 Knox Dr. in south Boulder.

The exercise, first conducted last year in the St. Vrain Valley School District, will fit into the middle school's physical science unit on ecology. With individual trays of water and vegetable oil on their desks, the students will attempt to get rid of the oil through skimming, absorbent pads and dispersion. They will then deliberate the pros and cons of each method.

For more information, call CU student organizer Janice Huang at (303) 492-7891, Southern Hills Middle School teacher Mike O'Neill at (303) 494-2866, or Carol Rowe, CU-Boulder director of engineering communications at (303) 492-7426.