Don't Cry Over Spilled Oil
Alinah Premji
Urban Academy
Floor Location : J 171 V

The name of my project is “Don’t Cry Over Spilled Oil.” Not only does it sound like the popular phrase “Don’t cry over spilled milk,” but it’s also has a similar message. Don’t cry over spilled oil, it’s already happened. Instead, clean it up!

The purpose of this project is not only to see how oil spills affect wildlife (specifically feathered animals,) but also to see which dish soap cleans it up the best. Out of dawn, palmolive, and sunlight, dawn was found to be the best at removing oil. The oily feathers were also found to break easily, have low flexibility, a sticky texture, and heavier weight in comparison to the control feather.

In my project I used qualitative ranking scales to determine which soap removed oil the best, not only during my main project, but also with an at school survey. All of the opinions have proven that dawn did remove oil the best, and made the feather visually more like the control feather. I also used blotting papers to see which feather had the most oil on it after being washed with the soap.

Another (very important,) component in my project was the research aspect. For example, I learned about the impact of oil spills on wildlife. Certain animals can’t swim, can’t regulate their body temperature, baby animals can’t be detected by their parents, and the animals are likely to become blind/injured. Also, I have discovered that there are so many ways to help out. One day, I hope to travel to areas with frequent oil spills and join one of the many volunteers who scrub oil out of trapped animals. Even if I can’t, I hope someone will look at my experiment and be inspired enough to go. Closer to home, people can also virtual volunteer, and donate online through the Marine Mammal Centre.