Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

Grade level: 5th

Skills: Multiplication

Related environmental issues: Water pollution

Area level: National

One of the world’s largest oil-spill disaster happened after an oil pipeline exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010. Everyday, 200,000 gallons of oil spilled from the pipeline and spread over the Gulf waters. The spill finally stopped on September 19, 2010, when the leak was plugged. The accident resulted in harming vegetation, wildlife, and the economy of the area.

  1. How many days did it take to stop the leak?
  2. How many gallons of oil leaked from the pipeline?

Source: United Nations Environment Programme and the guardian

Photo: Scholastic


Answer keys

  1. 152 days  (10 (April)+31 (May) +30 (June) +31 (July)+31 (August)+19 (September)
  2. 30,400,000  galons (200,000 x 152)