Getting the Oil Out

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Resource Type:Classroom Activities; Curricula and Instruction
Grade Level:
6 7 8
Organization:American Geosciences Institute (AGI); Earth Science Week (ESW); Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
Summary:In this activity, students create a working model of an oil pump. Artificial lifting systems, or pumping units, are used to help pull oil out of reservoir rock and pump it up a well. A down hole pump in the well is connected to the pumping unit by steel rods, which are screwed together. The pump is activated from the up and down movement of the pumping unit on the surface. As the pump plunges down, fluid from the rock formation flows into the pump chamber. On the upstroke, the fluid in the chamber is forced up the tubing, to the surface.
Earth Science Big Ideas:Big Idea 7
NGSS Discplinary Core Ideas:ESS3.A
NGSS Performance Expectations:MS-ETS1-1; MS-ETS1-2
NGSS Science and Engineering Practices:Analyzing and interpreting data; Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering); Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
NGSS Crosscutting Concepts:Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation; Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation; Structure and function
Subjects: earth science week; engineering; environment; geology; hydraulic fracturing; industrial minerals; mineral resources; oil and gas
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