Why we love oil spills at Aveea?

Oil spills, an awful part of our world, so why are they one of our favourite activities to run at Aveea Academy?

It's an awful part of our world

Oil spills, an awful part of our world, but one of our favourite activities to run at Aveea Academy. There isn’t much in the world which we can all unanimously agree upon, but when you take one look at that infectious like substance in the ocean, we’ll all be on the same page. It’s got to go.
Aveea - Oil Spill
Almost every aspect of the world is affected by oil spills, whether that’s economically, environmentally or socially. It’s not beneficial to anyone and not even the most corrupt of people would wish for one to occur. That’s why it’s a great activity as a gateway into seeing the challenges that we as the world face, we can all see the problem and we can all see glimmers of a solution, but it’s just not quite there yet.

It's the scale and cost that pupils realise

Something which oil spills show is that scale and cost are a huge factor in the real world. While we can purify the small controlled spills at Aveea Academy, the reality is that oil spills are on such a scale that our solutions are mere drops in the ocean. Not only that, cleansing the ocean is one thing, but how do we deal with the remains? One of the means we provide are pipettes, not only does this result in an arduous exercise to remove the oil, but it also leaves us with corroding, contaminated plastic and more importantly—the oil.
While this clearly highlights the lacking aspects of the solution, it also leads us into the discussion of difficult decisions. There are options such as polymers which break down the oil, or even just straight up burning the oil, but both of these cause dramatic harm to the environment. But why are they considered options then?
Aveea - Oil Spill

Utilising imperfect solutions?

The sad reality is that despite the damage done in return for removing the oil, with no other effective solutions, they are the lesser of two evils. Sometimes it is necessary to utilise imperfect solutions, especially when time is a factor. Leaving the oil for longer will naturally cause more damage, but also spread further and further till these seemingly tough decisions become obvious answers.

While we do aim to inspire pupils to take action, we recognise that it’s a large undertaking that many will be intimidated by. How can we possibly make an impact after so many have tried? As cruel as it is to say, these harmful solutions show us that even if we aren’t able to come up with a complete solution, contribute a complete idea, we can still help make an impact.

Aveea - Oil Spill

 Oil spills are both an inspiring and depressing tale for humanity. A disaster which we caused is harming both us and the environment, yet it is so integrated into our lives that it is inseparable.

Is prevention a method?

We cover various options which can, and have been, used to tackle oil spills, but there is also the topic of prevention. How can we prevent these spills from happening in the first place? Is it even possible to prevent it? Considering the modern world’s approach to alternative energy (solar and wind), we’d assume that the general consensus is to simply avoid and or reduce oil usage as a whole. Is this viable? Well, we’d better hope so considering the finite nature of oil.

An unfortunate, or perhaps fortunate, aspect of oil spills is that it is very far removed from the common human life. The largest of spills could take place, but the vast majority of people’s lives will remain unchanged.

Perhaps you notice a spike in prices, or see a few pictures on the news, the reality is that it does not majorly affect the ordinary person in a visible manner. That’s why we believe it’s important to raise awareness to these kinds of issues. We all hear about these devastating spills, but then we eventually hear the news that they’ve been dealt with. Phew… right? 

But do we actually know what the consequences of what has taken place are? Naturally, spreading fear amongst the population is the last thing which we want, we of course want people to believe that we as the world have things under control. But if we can just raise that understanding just that little bit so that we can come to an understanding of the reality of the situation on our own, perhaps that might be better than hearing words from the news come through one ear and out the other.

Explore the world of STEM with us