Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill - What Would Kids Do?
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has put the world in a rage, and people cracking their brains trying to think of a solution. Here are some of the ingenious suggestions from the kids!
A few years ago, Suzy Becker came across a photo of an oil-doused duck on the front page of The Boston Globe while she was teaching a group of 7 and 8 year old students, and decided to share it with them. Their reactions were so intense that she decided not to go ahead with the lesson she had planned out, and instead get their thoughts on the subject matter.
“I would get a big sponge and tie it with ropes to a helicopter. Then lower it down and soak up all the oil” and “I would put suntan lotion on all the animals. Then take the water out and wash it in a washing machine and put it all back,” were some of the responses she received. “With each minute, they were less and less upset,” she said. “They were busy ‘solving’ the problem.”
It inspired her. She thus set off on her target to gather the feedback and opinions of kids all over, on problems and occurrences in the world. It took her 3 years, 20 pre-schools and 80 classrooms, but it finally happened, and her new book, ‘Kids make It Better (Workman)’ was born.
Over the weeks of the catastrophic BP oil spill, she found out what the kids thought of the situation. Here are some of the highly inspired answers she collected in response to the question “If you were in charge, if you were the President or a scientist or an inventor, what would you do to clean up the oil slick?”
Suggestions on ways to divert the oil and clean it up:
Jared, 7: “Use marshmallows. They will expand and gunk up the hole better than mud.”
Wil, 8: “Put a bunch of cockroaches in scuba gear and have them drink up the oil.”
Logan, 8: “Use ping pong balls. They will float and fill up the hole, like a snorkel.”
Izi, 11: “Put a big ball of chewed gum in the hole.”
Ruby Belle, 10: “Put duct tape over the hole.”
Makiah, 10: “Connect a tube to the leak so the oil will rush into containers floating on the surface.”
Leilan, 7: “They should get a boat and try to get every fish and shark and octopus and plant and every thing, sort of like Noah and the Ark, so they can have babies and won’t be gone forever.”
Suggestions on how to reprimand those responsible for the spill included:
Emma, 11: “If the government wants to get toxic stuff out, they shouldn’t put toxic stuff in!”
Josh, 7: “The company should buy more fish and put them back in the ocean.”
Amy, 7: “First, BP should say they are sorry for causing this problem. Then they should figure out how other people won’t cause this same problem.”
Leilan, 7: “BP should work for no cost and do everything they can to solve this problem as their punishment. When it is solved they should dedicate their time to preventing another problem like this.”
Reilly, 7: “BP should make sure everybody is okay and help clean up the oil.”
Justin, 7: “BP should go in the boat. They should send out a sorry note. They should have to run a marathon.”
Nolan, 4: “For their punishment, BP executives should get a baby tadpole and put it their bathtub. And play with it.”
Aurora, 5: “They should have to move all the things that are still living to a place that has clean water.”
“To me, these kids answers – their wisdom, humor, conviction and compassion -are an antidote to what we’re seeing and hearing about the spill, but more than that, they’re a source of hope,” says Becker. “If we can orient our kids toward solving, not being overwhelmed or ignoring problems, the world will be much better off.”
All quotes/material belongs to Suzy Becker’s book, “Kids Make it Better”.
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