Oil Spills
Science Fair Projects
Ideas and Sample Projects by Grade Level

Home Experiments Science Jokes Warning!
Primary School - Grades K-3
P=Project   E=Experiment
Demonstrate what happens in an oil spill. [E]
What is an oil spill?
Elementary School - Grades 4-6
P=Project   E=Experiment
Compare the absorptivity of different sorbents used for cleaning up an oil spill in water. [E] [P]
Make a tanker and clean up a vegetable oil spill [E]
Which type of environment is most affected by an oil spill? [P]
Oil Absorbency of Polypropylene Pads vs. Natural Products [P]
The Effect of Water Salinity and Temperature on Oil Spreading Rate [P]
Which material cleans oil spills the best? [P]
What is an oil spill?
Middle School - Grades 7-9
P=Project   E=Experiment
Determine efficacy of innovative methods that could be used to clean oil spills that threaten our ecosystems. [P] [P]
Study the efficiency of separating oil from water using various amounts of ferrofluid and a strong neodymium magnet. [E]
The effects of increased nutrient levels on the growth of oil-eating microbes and the corresponding changes in the rate of oil biodegradation. [E]
Find out which biodegradable or recyclable material is the best oil spill absorbent. [E]
The Removal of Oil from Bird Feathers using Common Household Solvents [E]
Determine the effectiveness of polypropylene absorbent pads on oil spills. [P] [P]
How do oil spills affect plant growth? [P]
Determine whether natural products could pick up spilled oil better than consumer products. [P]
Determine what aquatic environment freshwater or saltwater has the highest amount of weight lost with the use of oil-hungry bacteria as a result of oil degradation over a 5-day period. [E]
A scientific method to accurately measure which washing solution was most effective in cleaning the petroleum off the birds in an oil spill [E]

The Percolation and Depth Rate of Motor Oil in Soils [E]
Compared warm temperatures (Gulf of Mexico) to freezing temperatures (Gulf of Alaska), trying to find which environment has the highest amount of oil loss with the use of oil-hungry bacteria that is a result of the degradation of the oil over a 6-day period. [E]
The Effectiveness of Enzymes (Bromelain, Papain ) as Degradation Agents in Motor Oil [E]
What Material Absorbs Motor Oil Spills the Best? [E] [P]
Determine if the shape of an oil-water separator affects how effectively it separates oil from water. [P]
Explore methods of cleaning oil spills other than the major methods used like burning, biotechnology, and the use of biological agents. [E]
How could be hair used in absorbing oil spills? [P]
A review of the petroleum industry and its impact on the environment [P]
What is an oil spill?
High School - Grades 10-12
P=Project   E=Experiment
Identify which, if any, inorganic nutrient can be added to the environment of naturally occurring petrophilic (oil-degrading) microbes (namely a fungal strain, Penicillium; and a bacterial strain, Pseudomonas) in order to induce an increase in the rate at which oil spills in the ocean can be efficiently cleaned up. [E]
The Effects of Oil Spills on Underwater Plant Life [E]
How could be human hair used in absorbing oil spills [P]
What is an oil spill?
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Last updated: September 2016
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