So while my 8th graders were researching the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill a few teams found youtube videos showing how hay could be used to soak up the oil. Yeah, they saw it with own eyes on the video. That was somewhat convincing but they were still curious. Could hay really soak up oil from water.
Perfect chance for real inquiry science learning. One kid brought hay from home. Another kid brought a bit of motor oil. I supplied a big bowl and water. Ta-day! Inquiry Science! Check it out:
It’s times like these that a quick (and dirty) hands-on experiment will provide more learning than a video. We only had enough materials to do this once but the whole class was watching. I bet this sticks with them more than the original youtube video! This makes me feel better about doing demos. For those times when I don’t have enough materials for every team to try something a demo does the trick.