California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Earth Resources--A Case Study: Oil

This case study is no longer available. You may wish to review Pathways Through Earth Resources--A Case Study: Oil, Grades 6-12, A series of 18 companion lessons derived from the Earth Resources--A Case Study: Oil.

What is the best way to conserve on oil usage and protect the environment?

  • What happens to the used oil from your car when you replace it with fresh oil?
  • Why is it a problem when you pour used oil on weeds?
  • How does oil work in a car engine?
  • Is there a difference between refined and re-refined oil?
  • What is re-refined oil?
  • Are there additives put in oil to make it work better in a car engine?

These are questions many people face when they operate an automobile.

The Goal...

The goal of the project is to teach new drivers the science concepts behind the decisions they will need to make and some of the consequences of these decisions, whichever way they decide.

History of Earth Resources

Earth Resources--A Case Study: Oil was developed through a partnership between the California Scope, Sequence and Coordination Project (SS&C)/K-12 Alliance, the California Integrated Waste Management Board, and the California Department of Education. The curriculum is 9 to 12 weeks in length and is based on the State Science Framework and National Science Education Standards.

Description of Earth Resources--A Case Study: Oil

The curriculum features more than 18 engaging lessons that will enable students to learn about the lifecycle of a natural resources (using oil as a case study), how it is formed, discovered, extracted, processed, used, collected, and recycled. Through hands-on laboratory investigations, students will identify the environmental impacts of using natural resources and the positive actions they can take to protect the environment. They will explore the science concepts behind the decisions they will need to make, and some of the consequence of these decisions.

To learn more about used oil, visit our Used Oil Program website.

Last updated: August 13, 2008
Office of Education and the Environment
Contact: (916) 341-6769