Science

Sometimes, the right equipment is a spoon

It pays to have the right tool.

That’s the lesson high school students in San Antonio, Texas, learned during an Energy4me workshop. Nearly 100 students competed in the hands-on activity, which challenges them to produce and refine the most amount of oil in the quickest time with the least (or no) amount of spillage or other complications.

Just like real life!

During the activity, students can purchase or exchange various tools that represent advancing technologies in oil and gas exploration. In one game, they learn about exploration, project management and negotiating.

“I loved the peak oil game because it taught me the importance of having the right equipment and right team when doing a task,” one student said.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers conducts Energy4me workshops and presentations all over the world. Through extensive use of hands-on activities, this innovating program, working in conjunction with the NEED project, encourages students to study engineering. In particular, the peak oil game teaches students the value of exploring for and producing hydrocarbons.

Studies prove that hands-on activities create connections between the classroom and real-world situations. This style of teaching also nurtures critical thinking and problem-solving skills, which are traits that many employers value.

“The Energy4me workshops not only are a lot of fun for the students, but they also are incredibly educational,” said Mary Spruill, NEED executive director. “Because we use hands-on activities, students do not passively listen to a lecture; they must think through a problem or situation. They learn that they can interpret data, which is a fundamental skill for engineers.”

After completing the activity portion of the workshop, students were then treated to a tour of the exhibition floor where they see all of the technology they just learned. The tour is a true highlight of the workshop and the only way that students can access an SPE exhibit floor.

At the same time, the students were learning about oil and gas, 20 science teachers took part in a separate workshop. Energy4me believes that if we educate a teacher, we educate generations of aspiring engineers.

A 5th grade science teacher said, “I now see the importance of combining hands-on experiments with theory to help increase students understanding.”

Teachers receive a free digital version of the Energy4me teacher kit, which includes many resources that they can take back to the classroom. Teachers also get an exhibition tour.

 

 

SPE Colombia Teaches Energy4me to 600 Students

 In July, 32 SPE members volunteered to teach the Energy4me program to nearly 600 6th and 7th grade students at the San Jose de Orito School and Jorge Eliecer Gaitan School in Orito, Colombia. The three-day event was a big hit among students and teachers. “With students, it is always important to do a hands-on activity since they are very curious,” said Jenny Bravo, teacher at San Jose de Orito School. “The activity is a motivation for their classes; many of them want to be engineers. When the students work with the volunteers, they have an incentive to continue their studies in university. I notice you were able to motivate them.”

STEM Day at Elmore Elementary in Houston, Texas

SPE member Randi Steele represented SPE’s Energy4me program and the Houston Museum of Natural Science at Elmore Elementary’s second annual STEM Day on Jan. 26. The program was organized by Crystal Williams, fourth grade STEM, computer science and robotics educator.

Williams instituted STEM Day as a way to motivate the students to think big about their futures and get them to focus on going to college. The day consisted of science presentations, robotics labs, a math competition and six science workshops.

Steele presented a basic discussion of fossil fuels and drilling for oil using materials from the Houston Museum of Natural Science where she is a master docent in the Weiss Energy Hall. Steele presented twice to large groups of about 30 fifth graders. They were very attentive and asked great questions.

“They loved learning about the rocks – especially the coal, halite, and sulfur samples,” Steele said. “Another highlight was showing the perforating gun and discussing the chemical explosive involved. This was a very worthwhile experience, and I look forward to doing it again!”

 

 

 

SPE Aberdeen invests $247,000 to support STEM education

Because of skills gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects in the UK, the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) Aberdeen Section has reported investing almost $250,000 (£200,000) over five years to support initiatives designed around these subjects.

SPE Aberdeen’s Schools and Careers Guidance Committee plays a significant role in encouraging young people to study STEM subjects, which are fundamental to the energy industry’s future workforce. Activities such as workshops at the Techfest Festival of Science, which take place in Aberdeen, are supported by profits from SPE Aberdeen events and offer thousands of children the opportunity to get a hands-on introduction to STEM subjects each year.

Another important enterprise that SPE has supported over the years is Inside Industry, the only tool of its kind focused on providing first-class, industry-driven career information and advice. The career guidance website, which is targeted specifically toward the energy industry, has been rolled out across 300 schools in Scotland.

Since 2011, SPE Aberdeen has invested $98,000 (almost £80,000) in scholarships to support students studying oil and gas related qualifications to relieve the financial stresses faced by students and allow them to focus on their studies.

“Inspiring the next generation has always been, and continues to be, at the heart of SPE Aberdeen,” said Ian Phillips, Chairman of SPE Aberdeen. “We are committed to encouraging and supporting the industry’s next generation of talent by providing opportunities that otherwise would not be available. The oil and gas industry has a long future ahead, and it is essential that we do all we can to equip the future workforce with skills they need to drive it forward.”

All of SPE Aberdeen’s initiatives are funded by profit generated from its annual program of events, such as the Offshore Achievement Awards, its monthly technical presentations and networking meetings, and topical conferences including DEVEX, the SPE ICoTA Well Intervention Conference and the SPE European Well Abandonment Seminar.

As well as key initiatives such as Techfest, Inside Industry and student scholarships, other events and workshops which benefit from these profits include CV workshops and industry exhibition tours for pupils and teachers, creating vital links between schools and industry.

In addition to the financial support given by SPE Aberdeen, the volunteers in each committee give their time and expertise to develop and deliver workshops, events and share their passion and enthusiasm for STEM and the industry.

“The events we run not only encourage knowledge sharing and professional development, but also play a direct link in supporting the talent of tomorrow,” Phillips said. “One such example is the Offshore Achievement Awards. As well as celebrating success and innovation across the industry, the awards also provide the wherewithal to attract the next generation of workers.

“It’s particularly important in this current market climate that we work even harder to encourage the next generation to pursue interests in the industry, and reinvesting back into key events and initiatives through the offshore awards is a fantastic way to do so.”

The Offshore Achievement Awards will take place at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre on Thursday, 23 March, 2017. For more information please visit: http://www.spe-oaa.org/

 

 

Sharing Experiences of Energy4me Between Aberdeen and Kazakhstan – Inspiring the Next Generation.

Aizhana Jussupbekova, SPE Atyrau-Kazakhstan Section, recently visited Aberdeen and met with Colin Black (Director SPE Europe Limited) and Sonia Watson (STEM Learning Coordinator at Aberdeen Science Centre) to get advice about expanding their Energy4me programme in schools in Kazakhstan and also running an Energy4me workshop at the forthcoming Caspian Technical Conference 2016. 

Aizhana was instrumental in starting the Energy4me programme in Kazakhstan back in 2013. Aizhana explained “We started with two people willing to visit schools, talk to kids and educate them on energy. Now, the program has grown significantly. Young professionals from SPE Astana Section, in collaboration with Nazarbayev University Student Chapter, visit a number of public schools year round.’ Additionally, Aizhana is involved in making steps to expand the program in Atyrau. She added, “Our passion for Energy4me convinced SPE Global to run a workshop for teachers at the Annual Caspian Conference and Exhibition in November of 2016”.

Energy4m Abeerdeen

Aizhana Jussupbekova, SPE Atyrau-Kazakhstan Section, with Colin Black (Director SPE Europe Limited) and Sonia Watson (STEM Learning Coordinator at Aberdeen Science Centre)

 

Ahead of this workshop, Aizhana met with Colin and Sonia. Aizhana explained ‘I was always impressed with the fact that Aberdeen Section was able to include the Energy4me program in the school curriculum. Talking to these dedicated professionals I realized that this was possible through the great collaboration between SPE Aberdeen Section and Aberdeen Science Centre. Visiting Colin and the team provide me with valuable advice on how we can improve the implementation of the program and also how to organise the planned workshop. I would like to thank Colin and Sonia for meeting with me at the Aberdeen Science Centre and also special thanks to Colin for taking me around Fittie town!”

 Colin commented “Aizhana and I are on the SPE Global Energy Information / Energy4me Committee so it was really good to have her visit us in Aberdeen and see first-hand our collaboration with ASC on Energy4me teacher CPD”.

Sonia added: “It was great to meet Aizhana and pass on the successful approach that we at Aberdeen Science Centre, in collaboration with SPE Aberdeen, have taken with Energy4me teacher CPDs.”

 

 

 

2014 APOGCE Education & Teachers’ Day Strikes a Chord

We’ve been traveling worldwide this fall bringing energy education to teachers and students. In October, we visited Calgary, Moscow, Adelaide and Amsterdam! Hear from one of our amazing SPE member volunteers as she shares about the high school student event in South Australia:

Helena Wu (Santos), SPE South Australian Section Vice Chair

On Wednesday 15th October, students and teachers from 7 local schools participated in an Education & Teachers’ Day held in Adelaide, Australia.  The event aimed to introduce high school students in grades 9 and 10 and their teachers, to Petroleum Engineering and the broader oil and gas industry.

The one day event was organised in conjunction with the 2014 Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition (APOGCE), held at the Adelaide Convention Centre from 14-16 October 2014.

“A teacher has since informed us that after attending this event, at least two of his students had switched to include STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in their Year 11 enrolment next year,” said James Griffiths, 2014 APOGCE Education & Teachers’ Day Chairperson, and South Australian Section Community Liaison Chair.  “We were extremely pleased to hear the event has made a difference,” he added.

“The diversity in student participation was also encouraging, with 35% females and 65% males, as well as 3 public schools and 4 private schools participating,” James said.

The day kicked off with a welcome from 2016 SPE President Dr Nathan Meehan, who broke the ice by demonstrating his juggling abilities while sharing insights on the industry.

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Students receiving a frac lesson directly from Nathan the ‘Fracmeister’!

After a quick ‘Mythbusters’ quiz designed to challenge common misconceptions, local SPE members Carrie Trembath (Beach Energy) and Steven Travers (Baker Hughes) explained how oil and gas is discovered, extracted and turned into everyday end products.

A number of hands on activities followed to reinforce concepts learnt and to spark interest – these included a close look at core samples (Nick Lemon, Santos), mixing frac fluids (Mary McGowen and team, Halliburton) and an intense Energy4Me game (Jenni and Lou, SPE).

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Give that bottle a good shake!

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Students may choose to invest in ‘better technology’ to ‘extract’ petroleum in the Peak Oil game.

Over lunch, young professionals David Warren and Helena Wu (Santos) shared stories on why they studied engineering and their career journeys to date.

In the afternoon, students toured the 700+ sqm exhibition area in small groups guided by local SPE members.  This provided the opportunity for students to see first-hand, some of the high-end technologies developed by engineers and used within our industry.

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Students getting talks on ‘Downhole Tools 101’.

Inspired (and loaded with freebies), the day concluded with a presentation on school subject choices recommended for engineering and a quick Q&A and Feedback session.

The Teachers’ Day programme was split off in the afternoon, to enable teachers to receive comprehensive, objective information about the scientific concepts of energy and its importance in society.

Special sessions were organised resulting in the teachers spending time with 2016 SPE President Dr Nathan Meehan and SPE Energy4Me instructors, Jenni and Lou, who flew in from Texas and Dubai for this event.  A higher level exhibition tour was also conducted.

The SPE South Australian Section would like to acknowledge and thank James Griffiths (Santos) and Nicole Ditty (University of Adelaide) for their hard work and dedication over the past 18 months to make the event an absolute success.

Further information on 2014 APOGCE Education & Teachers’ Day is available at: http://www.spe.org/events/apogce/2014/pages/schedule/education_day.php

 

We’re Back!

Taking a break from hosting workshops, we took some time to participate in some great energy education experiences this summer. In July, the entire Energy4me team (including our newest member from our Dubai office!) went down to Georgia for some extensive energy training with The NEED Project at their National Energy Conference for Educators.

A full week was spent exploring all sources of energy, energy conservation and energy efficiency. We had our minds and hands busy with energy projects, competitions, performances, and a visit to a local importing LNG facility on Elba Island. The best part was meeting teachers from all over the US and taking home new knowledge and activities to expand on the Energy4me curriculum and resources. Be sure to mark your calendar and apply for next year’s conference! Visit www.need.org for more information.

Energy4me then traveled to Massillon, Ohio, for a workshop put on by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP). This 2 day workshop included industry speakers, hands on activities, and a field trip to several different types of drilling sites. At each site we were able to learn so much about their operations. Speakers not only talked about but showed us the equipment and technology needed for horizontal drilling, hydraulic fracturing, injection wells, and natural gas storage. To learn more about the teacher resources they have available, visit www.oogeep.org.

Thanks to OOGEEP and The NEED Project for the great #energyeducation this summer! We’re ready for the new school year, starting with our first professional development training in San Antonio this August. Interested in attending one? Visit our Events page for details on where we’ll be!

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