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Lesson 5: Oil Takes a Trip

Authored by Facing the Future

140 minutes
Activity 1: 80 minutes; Activity 2: 60 minutes
Primary subjects: 
Science
Grade: 
3, 4, 5
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Working backward from a gas pump, students brainstorm the steps involved in producing gasoline, including the formation of crude oil and the steps in the gasoline supply chain. Students move through the supply chain from oil wells around the world to gas stations in the United States. Along the way, they track their mileage and summarize each step in the supply chain. In a follow-up activity, students reflect on this supply chain using systems thinking and economics.

Key objectives for students
Move through different stations to learn about the steps of a gasoline supply chain.
Understand that crude oil is found in and traded between different areas around the world.
Summarize each step of the gasoline supply chain.
Calculate the total number of miles a petroleum product may travel in a supply chain.
Analyze the supply chain using systems thinking and economics.
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