• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Grade 7 and 8

Page history last edited by Wendy Rooney 7 years, 11 months ago





 http://www1.center.k12.mo.us/edtech/SB/templates.htm - Smart Board Templates


http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/grade/7-8/  - Read, Write, Think


http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_7th.htm - Grade 7 Resources


http://www.brainpop.com/ - Brain Pop - All Subjects


http://atozteacherstuff.com/Lesson_Plans/lessonplans-middleschool.shtml - Middle School Lessons - All Topics



Social Studies



http://www.homeworkspot.com/middle/socialstudies/ - Social Studies Sites


http://www.worldatlas.com/aatlas/infopage/contnent.htm - World Atlas.com


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/web_games.htm - Interactive Map Quizzes


http://www.kbears.com/continents.html - Interactive Maps







http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_7th_social.htm - Grade 7 Social Studies




http://www.internet4classrooms.com/7thSocSt.htm - 7th Grade Social Studies


http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_8th_social.htm - 8th Grade Social Studies


http://www.mrnussbaum.com/circumcode.htm - Mr. Nussbaum's Social Studies


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/World_Continents.htm - Continents



http://www.mrnussbaum.com/continentscode2.htm - Interactive Continents - Mr. Nussbaum




http://teacher.scholastic.com/histmyst/index.asp - Mysteries of History 




http://www.sldirectory.com/teachf/socsci.html - Middle School Social Studies


http://www.middleweb.com/CurrSocStud.html - Middle School Social Studies


http://mrdonn.org/ - Mr. Donn Power Points - History & Geography


http://www.animatedatlas.com/movie.html - Animated Atlas - USA


http://www.2learn.ca/kids/social/listSocCHSWG5.asp?ID2=1 - People of the World


http://videos.howstuffworks.com/hsw/12188-the-medieval-era-europes-bubonic-plague-video.htm - Bubonic Plague Film


http://www.abc.net.au/indigenous/map/ - Languages of Australia


https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html - CIA World Fact Book


http://school.discoveryeducation.com/lessonplans/geog.html - Discovery School Geography Lessons


http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Home_Page/AFR_GIDE.html  - Africa - All Countries


http://jc-schools.net/PPTs-socst.html#Grades6-12 - Social Studies Power Points


http://www.lizardpoint.com/fun/geoquiz/ - World Map Quizzes


http://regions.pppst.com/mideast.html - Geography Power Points


http://www.besthistorysites.net/USHistory_Constitution.shtml - Best History Site


http://www.ipl.org/div/cquest/ - World Culture Tour with Ophelia & Parsifal


http://www.un.org/pubs/cyberschoolbus/ - UN Nation Info for Kids


http://etext.virginia.edu/salem/witchcraft/home.html - Salem Witch Trials


http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Home_Page/AFR_GIDE.html - Africa - All Countries




https://www.cia.gov/index.html - CIA Site





http://gtm-media.discoveryeducation.com/videos/25202/F8190285-EE2F-5346-FABCB55B8BBA8951.pdf - Geography of the South



http://bensguide.gpo.gov/6-8/index.html - Ben Franklin's Guide to Government


http://web.dps.k12.va.us/ParkAve/usgov.htm - U.S. Government Quiz


http://bensguide.gpo.gov/6-8/index.html - Ben Franklin's Guide for Kids


http://www.constitutionfacts.com/?page=foundingFatherShort.cfm - Which Founding Father Are You?


http://www.besthistorysites.net/Multimedia.shtml - Best History Site Games & Activities





http://www.maps.com/FunFacts.aspx - Map Games


http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html - World Religions


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/History/presidents/Presidents_menu.htm - US Presidents


http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/white-house-101/ - White House & Presidents


http://www.congressforkids.net/ - Congress for Kids


http://www.mrnussbaum.com/lcflash.htm - Lewis & Clark - Interactive


http://www.classbrain.com/artholiday/publish/article_159.shtml - Lewis & Clark Sites


http://www.pbs.org/lewisandclark/index.html - Lewis & Clark - PBS


http://www.classroomhelp.com/links/lewisandclark.html - Lewis & Clark Sites


http://www.kshs.org/teachers/trunks/pdfs/corps_3_lesson_2.pdf - Lewis & Clark Project


http://www.myschoolhouse.com/courses/O/1/73.asp - Lousiana Purchase Interactive Quiz


http://www.mrnussbaum.com/war1812.htm - War of 1812 - Interactive


http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/interact-socst.htm - Interactive Social Studies


http://geography.mrdonn.org/5themes-definitions.html - 5 Themes of Geography


http://bogglesworldesl.com/continents_worksheets.htm - Continents & Oceans


http://www.harpercollege.edu/mhealy/g101ilec/mainmenu/mnmenufr.htm - Geography 101 - Maps of the World


http://abcteach.com/directory/researchreports/maps/countries/ - World Maps - Printable


http://abcteach.com/directory/researchreports/maps/states/ - USA State Maps - Printable


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/web_games.htm - Interactive USA State Games


http://go.hrw.com/atlas/norm_htm/world.htm - World Atlas - Includes Oceans & Ocean Floors


http://www.yourchildlearns.com/europe_map.htm - European Map - Interactive


http://www.yourchildlearns.com/asia_map.htm - Asia  - Interactive Map


http://www.fekids.com/img/kln/flash/DontGrossOutTheWorld.swf - Don't Gross Out the World - Dining Habits


http://www.historyonthenet.com/Titanictreasure/treachery_on_the_titanic_start.htm - Treachery on the Titanic


http://www.theteachersguide.com/Titanic.html - Titanic Links



http://www.50states.com/ - State Information


http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/tools/socst-hs.html - Interactive Social Studies  &  Quizzes




http://www.quia.com/jg/42004.html - Geography Quiz


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/World_Continents.htm - Geography/Ocean Interactive Map & Quizzes




http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/history.htm - Interactive History


http://www.brainpop.com/socialstudies/ushistory/usconstitution/quiz/ - Constitution Quiz


http://www.constitutionfacts.com/ - Constitution & Founding Fathers Quizzes - Interactive


http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/tools/amer-gov-cs.pdf - Bill of Rights Cheat Sheet


http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/analyzing-purpose-meaning-political-794.html - Analyzing Political Cartoons


http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/argument-persuasion-propaganda-analyzing-829.html - WW II Posters - Persuasion


http://www.internet4classrooms.com/8SocSt.htm - Social Studies - Grade 8


http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/tools/socst-hs.html - High School Social Studies Sites - Interactive & Powerpoints


http://www.softschools.com/grades/6th_and_7th.jsp - Science & Social Studies



http://www.brainpop.com/spotlight/thelaw/  - Brain Pop - The Law


http://www.cloudnet.com/~edrbsass/edsoc.htm - Social Studies Sites 


http://classroom.jc-schools.net/SS-units/gov-civics.html - Social Studies Online


http://www.brainpop.com/socialstudies/ - Brain Pop Social Studies


http://classroom.jc-schools.net/SS-units/gov-civics.html#Interactive_ - Interactive Social Studies 


http://www.phschool.com/curriculum_support/ss_skills_tutor/# -  Tools


http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/games_quizzes/electiongame/game.asp  - If You Were President


http://www.eduplace.com/ss/hmss/3/unit/act4.1blm.html - Know Your Rights 


http://constitutioncenter.org/ - Constitution Center 


http://www.neok12.com/American-Civil-War.htm - Civil War Videos


http://www.mrnussbaum.com/civilwarpage.htm - Civil War - Interactive



http://www.theteachersguide.com/Civilwar.html - The American Civil War Links


http://www.brainpop.com/socialstudies/freemovies/civilwar/ - Civil War - Brain Pop


http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic-interactive/19407/57665/Events-leading-to-the-Battle-of-Gettysburg - Gettysburg Battle Interactive



http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/kids/metricpyramidfinal1.pdf - Metric Pyramid 


http://www.brainpop.com/science/motionsforcesandtime/buoyancy/preview.weml - Buoyancy



Grade 7



Grade 8 











http://www1.center.k12.mo.us/edtech/SB/templates.htm - Lab Report Procedure


http://chemistry.about.com/od/chartstables/l/LabSheet1.pdf - Lab Report Template


http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/K-12/Summer_Training/Elementary97/SLOF1.html - *  Lab Report


http://donnayoung.org/f10/science-f/labforms/labreport.pdf - Lab Form


http://school.discoveryeducation.com/sciencefaircentral/?pID=fair - Science Experiments & Science Fair Projects


http://www.mrnussbaum.com/scigames.htm - Science Games


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Elementsgames.htm - Chemistry Games


http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/yjackie/index.php - Yellow Jackie - Science Mystery


http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/tbs/ - Blackout Syndrome -

Science Mystery


http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/rov/ - River of Venom - Science Mystery


http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/arc/ - Arctica - Science Mystery


http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/croak/ - Croak - Science Mystery


http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/arp/ - Angry Red Planet - Science Mystery


http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/mspot/twoforks/ - Two Forks Idaho - Science Mystery



http://www.microbeworld.org/ - Microbe World









http://msteacher.org/epubs/science/science4/lessons.aspx - Middle School Science Portal - Lessons, etc.



http://www.brainpop.com/spotlight/weird/ - Weird Science - Brain Pop


http://www.examiner.com/x-55372-BP-Examiner~y2010m6d24-Gulf-Oil-Live-spill-feed-cam-leak-meter - Live - Gallons in Gulf Oil Leak


http://www.rossarts.org/naples/examples.htm - Science Fair Example - Tri Chart


http://www.buzzle.com/articles/example-of-a-science-project.html - Science Projects



http://chemistry.about.com/od/testsquizzes/Chemistry_Tests_Quizzes.htm - Science Quizzes


http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_7th_science_new.htm - Grade 7 Science




http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_8th_science.htm - Grade 8 Science


http://video.pbs.org/  - PBS Videos


http://urbanext.illinois.edu/kids/ - Science Sites for Kids


http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/ - Science News for Kids


http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/pages/gamezone/ - Science Related Games


http://www.sldirectory.com/teachf/scied.html - Science Sites


http://web.vims.edu/bridge/lesson.html - Science Sites


http://www.sldirectory.com/teachf/scied.html - Middle School Science


http://www.miamisci.org/af/sln/ - The Atoms Family (Monster Science)


http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20061101/SciFiZone.asp - Monster Madness Game


http://www.crimespider.com/cgi-bin/search/extremesearch.cgi?dir=Virtual%20Crime%20Solving/Online%20Mystery%20Games  - Mystery Games & Crime Solving


http://school.discoveryeducation.com/homeworkhelp/science/science_homework_help.html - Science Homework Help


http://www.discoveryeducation.com/video-in-the-classroom/young-scientist-challenge.cfm - Young Scientist Challenge


http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_ideas.shtml - Science Experiments


http://www.wonderville.ca/v1/home.html - Wonderville


http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_guide_index.shtml - Scientific Procedure


http://www.easy-kids-science-experiments.com/science-experiments-middle-school.html - Middle School Science Experiments


http://www.easy-kids-science-experiments.com/kids-science-websites.html - Favorite Kids' Science Experiments


http://www.billnye.com/ - Bill Nye the Science Guy


http://www.sciencemonster.com/ - Science Monster


http://www.easy-kids-science-experiments.com/water-science-projects.html - Water Experiments


http://www.reachoutmichigan.org/funexperiments/quick/quick.html - Quick & Easy Science Experiments


http://player.discoveryeducation.com/views/hhView.cfm?guidAssetId=745c5f64-2c62-4d69-aeaf-078c3528e193 - Ponder This




http://www.neok12.com/ - Science Videos, Games, Quizzes 


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/science.htm - Interactive Science


http://www.neok12.com/quiz-games.htm - Science Quizzes by Topic


http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/tectonics/# - Earthquake simulation


http://gtm-media.discoveryeducation.com/videos/19658/2137D3D0-98F6-B3AE-E8CD90771231E951.pdf  - Dr. Dad's PH3


http://www.discoveryeducation.com/video-in-the-classroom/bill-nye-stuff-happens.cfm - Bill Nye - Stuff Happens in the Bathroom



http://www.dpnr.gov.vi/dep/consumers.htm - EPA Science Site for Kids


http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/category/interactives-extras/interactives-games/ - Nature Interactives & Games


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Elementsgames.htm - Chemical Elements Games


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/periodictable_L.html - Periodic Table - Interactive


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/periodictable_L.html - Interactive Periodic Table


http://www.eco-pros.com/renewableresources.htm - Ecological Science Sites (Bottom of Page)


http://www.eurekascience.com/ICanDoThat/dna_intro.htm - Intro to DNA


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/scienceforkids/life_cycle/index.htm - Life Cycles


http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/lesson_plans/bloodysuckers2.html - Mosquito Lessons


http://www.howstuffworks.com/mosquito.htm - Mosquito - How Stuff Works


http://www-rci.rutgers.edu/~insects/mosbiol.htm - Mosquito - Rutgers


http://insected.arizona.edu/lesson_05/lplan.htm - Mosquito Lab


http://insected.arizona.edu/lesson_05/lplan.htm - Mosquito Assessment & Insect Info


http://insected.arizona.edu/lesson_05/mosquitolife.htm - Mosquito Life Stages


http://www.orkin.com/downloads/lesson-plans-grades-grades-5-and-6.pdf - Insects & Other Pests


http://www.orkin.com/downloads/feeding-frenzy.pdf - Experiment - How Insect Mouth Parts are Adapted


http://www.orkin.com/downloads/camouflage.pdf - Stealth & Survival Insect Camouflage


http://www.orkin.com/downloads/youre-on-insect-camera.pdf - Insect Camera Experiment


http://www.orkin.com/downloads/a-day-in-the-life-of.pdf - A Day in the Life of an Insect


http://www.orkin.com/downloads/feeling-buggy.pdf - Insects & Humans - Comparisons


http://www.orkin.com/downloads/create-an-insect.pdf - Create an Insect


http://insected.arizona.edu/default3.html - Insect Education - Univ. of Arizona


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/health/anatomy/cell/index.htm - Cell Tutorials, Games, Quizzes


http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/content/animals/kidscorner/endangered_animals/endangeredanimals_1.htm - Endangered Species & Their Habitats


http://www.reachoutmichigan.org/funexperiments/quick/quick.html - Science Experiments


http://www.reachoutmichigan.org/funexperiments/agesubject/subject.html - Hands on Science Lessons



http://www.cool-science-projects.com/Middle-School-Science-Projects.html - Cool Science Projects 


http://www.cool-science-projects.com/volcano-project.html - Volcano Experiments


http://www.cool-science-projects.com/egg-science-project.html - Egg Science


http://www.cool-science-projects.com/simple-machine-science-project.html - Simple Machines


http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20100428/Feature1.asp - New Waves for Safe Flying


http://www.imaginon.org/fun/whippingboy/aratslife.asp?themeid=2&activityid=9 - Rat's Life


http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/games/fling/plague/index.shtml - Bubonic Plague Game - Fling the Teacher - Interactive


http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/The-Problem-of-the-Plague-43008.html - The Problem of the Plague - Interactive Game


http://teacher.scholastic.com/histmyst/index.asp - History Mysteries - Scholastic


http://www.secretsatsea.org/ - Secrets at Sea Interactive Game



http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20100512/TeacherZone.asp - The Algae Invasion


http://www.bigelow.org/edhab/fitting_algae.html - Algae


http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20030402/Note2.asp - Chemicals Killing Algae



http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20100512/Note3.asp - Mercury in Tuna


http://jc-schools.net/tutorials/tools/science-ms.html - Middle School Science


http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/pages/sciencefairzone/topics.asp - Science for Kids


http://www.teachersfirst.com/lessons/forensics/pract-rpt.html - Lab Report



http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistrylabexperiments/a/labreports.htm - Writing a Lab Report 


http://chemistry.about.com/od/chartstables/l/LabSheet1.pdf - Lab Report Template


http://www.docstoc.com/docs/450163/Lab-Report-Template - Lab Report Template




http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/science/dissection/html/glenintdissdemo.html  - Frog Dissection


http://www.cloudnet.com/~edrbsass/edsci.htm - Science Lessons - All Topics


http://www.fossweb.com/modulesMS/index.html = Foss Web Science - All Topics


http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_8th_science.htm - Internet for Classrooms Science - Gr. 8


http://www.internet4classrooms.com/skills_7th_science.htm - Internet for Classrooms Science - Gr. 7


http://www.tipton-county.com/mms/practice%20tests%207.htm - 7th Grade Science Tests


http://www.hersheypark.com/groups/pdf/middlehigh.pdf - Hershey Park Science


http://www.middleschoolscience.com/wanted.htm - Famous Scientists



http://extension.entm.purdue.edu/mosquito_tool/ - Mosquito Breeding Sites - Interactive


http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20040107/Feature1.asp - Sounds in Nature


http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/kids/metricpyramidfinal1.pdf - Metric Pyramid


http://www.funbrain.com/measure/index.html - Measure It


http://www.middleschoolscience.com/goodscientists.pdf - Puzzle


http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/education/lessons/dogs_turnips/dogs_and_turnips.html - Scientific Ideas Through Reasoning  -  Word Game 


http://www.middleschoolscience.com/matter.pdf - Properties of Matter Notes


http://www.classzone.com/books/ml_science_share/vis_sim/mfm05_pg50_newton/mfm05_pg50_newton.html  - Newton's 2nd Law - Push the Shopping Cart


http://history1900s.about.com/od/1900s/a/typhoidmary.htm - Typhoid Mary


http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/b/bubonic_plague/intro.htm#whatis - Bubonic Plague Info


http://www.ph.ucla.edu/epi/snow/broadstreetpump.html - Broad Street Pump


http://www.sciencecourseware.org/VirtualEarthquake/VQuakeExecute.html - Virtual Earthquake


http://www.webelements.com/index.html - Periodic Table


http://www.nrdc.org/water/drinking/bw/chap2.asp - Bottled Water vs. Tap


http://hubblesite.org/ - Hubble


http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/time/seasons.html - The Seasons


http://www.solarviews.com/ - The Solar System


http://www.pbs.org/seeinginthedark/  - Astronomy


http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/time/tides.html - Lunar Tides


http://www.nationalgeographic.com/seas/html/classroom/matrix_58.html?printable  - Ocean Topics


http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/02galapagos/background/education/media/gal_gr5_6_l3.pdf - Invent a Deep Sea Invertebrate 


http://www.dosits.org/ - Sounds of the Sea & Sea Creatures


http://www.epa.gov/owow/OCPD/Marine/contents.html - Turning the Tide on Marine Trash


http://dsc.discovery.com/sharks/shark-videos/ - Shark Videos


http://42explore.com/shark.htm - Shark Site 


http://library.thinkquest.org/J001458/shrkquiz.htm - Shark Quiz - Interactive


http://library.thinkquest.org/J001458/ - Shark Movies


http://library.thinkquest.org/J001458/ - The Truth About the Monsters of the Deep


http://www.sciencenewsforkids.org/articles/20031112/Note3.asp - Plastic Endangers Seals


http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/explorer/ecosystems/be_an_explorer/map/form_wildcats.htm# - Build a Food Web







http://www.softschools.com/grades/6th_and_7th.jsp - Science & Social Studies 





http://www.middleschoolscience.com/dietcoke.htm - Coke Float Experiment


http://www.middleschoolscience.com/dunkinfordensity.pdf - Dunkin' for Density Experiment


http://pzweb.harvard.edu/ucp/curriculum/pressure/s2_reinforcement_cup.pdf - Forces in Fluids - Upside Down Cup


http://www.workman.com/more/games/fliersclub/ - Paper Airplane Interactive


http://www.classzone.com/books/ml_science_share/vis_sim/emm05_pg77_electromag/emm05_pg77_electromag.html  - Electromagnets - Lift Interactive


http://www.classzone.com/books/ml_science_share/vis_sim/emm05_pg41_circuits/emm05_pg41_circuits.html - Can You Light Up the Bulbs?


http://www.classzone.com/books/ml_science_share/vis_sim/mem05_pg69_potential/mem05_pg69_potential.html  - Potential & Kinetic Energy - Take the Paint Can Up the Ladder


http://www.classzone.com/books/ml_science_share/vis_sim/mfm05_pg126_coaster/mfm05_pg126_coaster.html - How Roller Coasters Work


http://www.classzone.com/books/ml_science_share/vis_sim/wslm05_pg18_graph/wslm05_pg18_graph.html - Waves






Gusher in the Gulf

By Bill Nye | Published: May 28, 2010 – 9:56 am

For over a month now, a broken oil well has been gushing into the Gulf of Mexico.

The last few days, I’ve appeared on CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News regarding the oil and gas gushing from the Gulf of Mexico’s seafloor. Watching and listening to spokesmen and reporters up close gives one a deep sense of how serious this whole business is. From the chairs in these various studios, it’s quite a ride.

When we drill into a deposit of oil, it often comes gushing out because the hollow spaces underground hold natural gas along with liquid oil. The gas acts like the propellant in a can of hairspray or paint. It was produced by ancient bacteria, and its pressure is still there. When we poke a hole in the underground cavity, sometimes we get a gusher; sometimes we get what petroleum workers often call, a “blowout.” The Deepwater Horizon rig was destroyed by a catastrophic blowout of natural gas and oil. It caught a spark, probably from one of the dozens, or hundreds, of electric motors on board, and the whole rig blew up killing 11 men.

With all this, oil workers look to avoid blowouts. Whenever we run pipes anywhere, we put valves in the lines. For a couple of centuries, we have been drilling for oil. So at the top of each well, we put a shutoff valve.  The bigger the well; the bigger the shutoff. This well is huge, 53 centimeters (21 inches) across. So, the shutoff valve is huge. It weighs more than a hundred tons. By long tradition, it’s called a Blow-Out Preventer (B.O.P.).

Here, the expression “preventer” is, at best, inappropriate. It didn’t prevent anything as far as we can tell.

The idea now is to pump a fluid that will block the flow. In the oil field this fluid is often a special mixture whose molecules lock together when it’s under pressure. Oil drillers call it “mud.” It looks like mud, but there’s more to it.

The molecular lock-together feature of a fluid is called “dilatancy.” The classic dilatant fluid in our everyday experience is cornstarch mixed with a small amount of water. It’s goopy, until you slap it or shake it. It locks up and does not splatter at all. So it is with drilling mud.

British Petroleum (BP) has been pumping drilling mud into the Preventer plumbing for almost two days. It seems to have slowed the oil flow a little, but not enough.

The engineers, or at least the spokesmen for the engineers, said they plan a “junk shot.” The idea is to add bits of hard  material to the mud. Traditionally, in the Texas oil field, drillers add cut-up car tires and old driving range golf balls. This “bridging” material sometimes helps the dilatant mud molecules lock up. The pipe is so big, and the flow so fast, that a golf ball isn’t really that big an object. It could easily jam against an edge or pipe joint– and that would be good. Looking at the BP executive’s faces, it doesn’t seem like this is going to work either.

Next, I expect engineers along with the Remotely Operated submarine Vehicle (ROV) drivers will cut some large portion of the top preventer off. The next pipe up the drill string is called the “riser,” and I imagine that’s what they’ll go after next. It’s big job because the material is a hard type of stainless steel. And, it’s a long way around the big pipe with a fancy saw and buffing grinder, especially when you’re doing it with a claw-fingered robot to work the material and grainy video to guide you.

After that, I hope the managers let go of the idea of trying to capture any more oil until the relief, or drilled-in-from-the-side, well is cut. I hope they put a cap or slug made from a few thousand tons of concrete on top. They could let it ooze very slowly for a few weeks, until they can get to the well casing or liner by coming in from the side. Drilling these relief wells will take a few months, because it’s, once again, miles down and hundreds of meters of solid rock.

About the rate of oil flow: there have been a great many questions about how much oil is flowing per day. At first, looking at satellite data, people thought it was about 5,000 barrels a day. A barrel is 42 gallons. So, it’s a great many gallons. (A “drum” is 55 gallons– another confusing feature of the old English system of units.) Well, it turns out most of the oil isn’t making it to the surface of the sea. It’s floating somewhere in between the sea floor and surface– a goopy mess for any living thing in the ocean.

I have some small experience in oil fields, or in the “oil patch.” I worked for a shipyard that built the world’s premier oil slick skimming boat. We had a machine derived from skimming technology that performed the seemingly trivial task of separating oil and water.

You might think it would be easy, but in nature, dust particles or plankton organisms (plankters) get covered with oil in such a way that they neither sink nor float. They’re neutrally buoyant. As small globs of oily goo, they clog up all kinds of plumbing– including the gills, fins, and wings of fish and birds.

This fundamental experience helped me explain to news anchors and viewers why there was such discrepancy between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrations satellite assessment of size of the spill compared with the measurement of the pipe gusher’s oil leak.

I hope BP takes this business very seriously. Any information they are not disclosing will come out one day when various employees or friends of employees reveal the true decision process. I remain concerned that the traditions of oil spills on land are too strongly influencing the procedures being developed on the bottom of the Gulf, an ecosystem people all over the world depend on.

We use a lot of energy. This disaster helps us recognize how complex or oil technology is, and how much can go wrong. Let’s learn from this, wean ourselves from oil, and change the world.

Filed under: Uncategorized




Science Lab Report - Bloom's Taxonomy 


Bloom’s Experiment Form (for use with any Science Topic)



List the materials used in this experiment.

Materials: _________________________________________________________________




Outline the procedure for conducting this experiment


  1. _______________________________________________________
  2. _______________________________________________________
  3. _______________________________________________________
  4. _______________________________________________________
  5. _______________________________________________________
  6. _______________________________________________________



Record data observed and collected during your experiment.


What I did

What I observed










Examine your data and draw conclusions.


1. _______________________________________________________________


2. _______________________________________________________________


3. _______________________________________________________________



Describe how you would rate the success of you experiment.  Establish a set of criteria for measuring the result.



Create a series of “What if” statements about your data to show things that might be different should variables be changed.

What if… __________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________What if… __________________________________________________________




Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.