Being an Energy4me volunteer means getting the opportunity to make the simple seem extraordinary. To take everyday items and turn them into learning tools. To make a bottle of water and some oil show eager minds how molecules behave.
Being an Energy4me volunteer means that you get to be part of the wonder that is the potential of a life in STEM. Two volunteers experienced this in Benin City, Nigeria. Engineers Ifeanyi Ndukwe and Peter Asemota visited the St. Maria Goretti Girls Secondary School where more than 450 students were waiting to greet them.
Spreading the message of the importance of pursing STEM related subjects, the Energy4me volunteers then spent some time in the classroom, showing students how oil and water don’t mix and what that means for the oil and gas industry.
The Energy4me program is designed not only to teach the public about the exciting scientific concepts that are dealt with in the real world, but also to have the audience discover these concepts themselves by participating in the activity. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
Students played the Peak Oil Game which uses beans, spoons and some paper bags to show how technology and the right decision making can lead to the discovery of potential energy.
It’s a great game that both educates and spurs and competition among students as they learn the important lesson of cooperation between various sectors within the industry. After completing the game, one student said, “This is fun. Now I know what I want to be when I grow up.”
Of course, learning isn’t always just for students. As the Energy4me volunteer, Ndukwe also gained some knowledge.
“The activity is one of the most amazing ways to introduce kids to the energy sector and it was a success,” he said. “I totally enjoyed the session, and it even strengthened my knowledge during the exercise.”
Energy4me helps to dispel the myths about the industry and educate students about the many career opportunities that await aspiring students. Teachers at St. Maria Goretti understood that potential and inquired if Ndukwe and Asemata would be available to work with the students again.
This is one of the main objectives of the Energy4me program –building a relationship beyond just the interaction with our activities. Energy4me has a range of volunteers that have given their time to mentor and answer all of the questions that the public might have.
There is no better reward than giving back to the community that has given you so much and thanks to the SPE Benin Section, we might have a few future leaders and energy professionals that emerge out of this school visit.