Oil, whether we realize it or not, plays a big role in our lives. While gasoline, oil’s most obvious form, is used to power our cars it is just one of oil’s many uses. Beyond fueling our vehicles oil also provides many items we use in our daily lives. Cosmetics, plastics, electronics, clothing, medicine, and many other items wouldn’t exist without the chemicals and compounds we derive from oil.
Collegians at the University of Minnesota-Duluth decided to highlight the many ways we use oil by playing a game of “Oil or Not.” They challenged other students to determine if some common, everyday items were made from oil or not.
Some students were surprised by what they discovered. “I didn’t know roads used oil,” said one student, “I guess our cars both drive on it and on top of it.” Other students were quick to figure out all of our examples depend on oil. Another student said, “You can’t pull the wool over the eyes of this engineer. It is amazing all of the different ways we use oil.”
At the end of the day, and after many interesting discussions, most students had a deeper understanding of how much we rely on oil. It plays a huge role in our daily lives, and it would be a huge challenge if our use of oil, and its derivatives, were restricted.