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.
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).
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.
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