The Energy4me blog staff recently caught up with SPE member Jennifer Miskimins and asked her thoughts on being a woman in the petroleum engineering field. She also offers excellent advice on being a volunteer for Energy4me. Check out her video here:
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!”
By Helena Wu, SPE South Australian Section Vice Chairperson
How do you keep over 20,000 students, parents and children of all ages, dazzled and entranced in the science of oil and gas?
After months of planning, the SPE South Australian Section brought the science of oil and gas to life, at the recent 2014 Science Alive! event. In its first foray into this annual expo, the South Australian Section partnered up with two local sections of other professional societies to share a 6m x 6m booth titled ‘Discover the Science of Oil and Gas’.
Held from 8-10 August at the local showgrounds, Science Alive! is a three day science and technology expo which attracted over 4,000 students on the Friday ‘Careers Day’ and an estimated 20,000 children and parents on the weekend public opening.
Through a mixture of presentations, exhibits and hands on activities, attendees were provided with an understanding of the petroleum lifecycle, starting from generation and migration, right through to production and integration into everyday society.
SPE members volunteering at the booth were kept busy dispelling common perceptions of oil and gas being found in underground caverns. “Many were surprised by the numerous everyday products made from petroleum,” said James Griffiths, Event Coordinator and Community Liaison Chair for SPE South Australian Section.
Prior to the event, SPE Senior Manager Communication and Energy Education, Paige McCown and SPE Southern Asia Pacific Regional Director, John Boardman, made a special donation of Energy4Me materials to the section, which were well utilised for the event. The bookmarks proved to be most popular, while both students and parents shifted through the career brochures and quizzed each other using the IQ test questions.
The thinking caps are already out to ensure next year’s booth will be even bigger and better!
For more information about Science Alive! and Australia’s annual National Science Week, visit http://www.scienceweek.net.au/science-alive-2014/.
Earlier this spring, the Lagos section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers trained local teachers on Energy4me curriculum who then taught energy programs at their schools. Hear about their experience below, and see the energy education happening in the photos!
In a move first of its kind in Nigeria, the Society of Petroleum Engineers has collaborated with the Lagos Power Kids Program to bring Energy4me to 50 secondary schools in Lagos state. The Lagos Power Kids Program is an initiative of the Lagos state government as part of the power sector development plan to help improve energy efficiency and conservation practice among its citizens. The Power kids program is an interactive, extra-curricular club activity specifically aimed at students of the junior secondary school sector and currently runs as a reward for the top schools which won the Governor’s award for Public schools. One thousand students participated in the program.
SPE prepared the oil and gas module and distributed the Energy4me packs and posters for the students and lecturers. On March 4th 2014, SPE Lagos section held a teach the trainers workshop where the 50 teachers and 10 supervisors were taken through the module and the experiment. The Lagos section volunteers had an interactive session with the teachers answering various questions posed by them. The pictures below complete the story.
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Join us in celebrating Engineers Week! This year’s theme is Discover Engineering – Let’s Make a Difference. There is a wealth of resources for teachers, students, and volunteers to celebrate the event, and we have picked some of our favorites!
For Teachers: The Discover E website is full of activities and videos to use in your classroom. Design, aerospace, computer science, environmental and energy engineering are all types of projects included in the list. Here is engineering principles with Slinky Science, electrical circuits with the Power of Graphene, and chemical reactions with Catalysis: Change for the Better. The full list is HERE!
For Students: Check out the Career Outlook on engineering; the average salary for engineers in 2011 was $99,738, and the field of engineering is expected to grow by 10 percent in the next ten years! Engineering Careers explores the many industries looking for new graduates. Remember, Energy4me has a full list of petroleum engineering schools and programs HERE!
Girl Day: Formerly known as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day, Girl Day celebrates the importance of girls in engineering. Great role models and mentors are shaping future engineers during events on February 20. Find an Idea Starter to get involved.
Engineering Challenges: Always a quick activity to encourage teamwork and creativity, while fostering the love of science in kids! One of the 2013-2014 Albert Einstein Fellows, James Town, posted some classroom challenges that are cheap, easy, and great for Engineers Week. Find his full post HERE, but we’re sharing what he says about his best design ideas:
Best Helicopter Challenge:
Materials: Paper, Scissors, Paper clips, Stopwatch (optional)
Students cut out their Bunny Copter and go through the design process to improve it. I usually host the Eweek events at lunch so there is a natural design cut off. Then drop the copters head-to-head (or keep a running total of best times) to determine the winner. I make copies of the Bunny Copter Challenge from PBS Kids.
Best Boat Challenge:
Materials: 1’x1’ squares of aluminum; Something small, but kind of heavy that you can get a lot of (like dice or pennies); Buckets of water
Students craft a boat out of the aluminum foil (and only the aluminum foil) and try to keep the maximum amount of pennies afloat with their boat. Each trial they redesign and make it better. (Idea from Jefferson Labs)
Best Airplane Challenge:
Students make paper airplanes and try to make one that goes the furthest.
Best Jet Car Challenge:
Materials: Toy cars (e.g. Matchbox cars), Balloons, Straws, Tape, Paper clips
Admittedly, this one has the highest initial cost, but it also is the coolest. Students need to make the car go as far as possible passed the starting line. I always emphasize they cannot interact with it in any way once it passes the starting line. For extra engagement, the winner can keep their car. I originally got the idea from the e-week website run by American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
We’d want to hear your plans for Engineers Week! Share with us in the comments or visit us on Facebook www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me!
This week’s blog is courtesy of www.Energy.gov!
It’s officially summer and with summer comes baseball games, backyard BBQs and trips to the pool. But if you’re a parent of school-aged children, it also means finding activities to keep your kids entertained during summer vacation. This summer, keep your kids engaged with fun and educational energy-related activities!
Did you know: Incandescent light bulbs only convert about 10 percent of the energy they consume into light and the rest is released as heat. The Energy Department’s Energy Bike demonstrates the physical effort it takes to power incandescent, compact fluorescent and LED light bulbs. Students from Churchill Road Elementary School in Virginia recently pedaled for power at their Earth Day assembly, learning firsthand about energy efficiency.
This is just one of the many energy-themed activities available to parents and kids! Visit HERE to learn more.
When her 8-year-old son asked, “how do you make gasoline?” Aizhana, a reservoir engineer, decided it was time to get involved in energy education. Aizhana and her colleagues recently visited her son’s 3rd grade class in Astana, Kazakhstan to talk all about energy! Using some of the Energy4me presentation materials and their own demo activities, she explains, “we were trying to show them how oil is being produced. We got decorative beads, poured some coffee (oil) into the porous space. Then drilled a well with a straw and started pumping oil out of the ground.”
Here’s a small article she wrote for a local newsletter on her experience –
How would you answer these questions: “Have you ever found diamonds when drilled a well?” or “When you bring a lot of oil to the platform, how do you keep it stable?” Now, if I tell you that those are the questions asked by 8-9 years old kids, would you change or paraphrase your answer? You probably would. This is exactly what me and my colleague, Ilyas, faced when we went to my son’s class to teach a lesson on energy to 3rd graders.
The idea to go to school and teach the kids on energy came to me at the gas station. We went to fill up the tank and my son asked: “Why are you buying gasoline? Aren’t you making it?” I started explaining what I do and how gasoline is being made, but later I thought: “What if I go to school and educate the whole class, not only my son?” I remembered, that Society of Petroleum Engineers has a program called “Energy4me.” I contacted them and came up to the slides for the talk. My colleagues got excited about this idea as well and we decided to “test” it on my son’s class and later develop a program under SPE umbrella.
So, on April 18 me, Ilyas, and one other colleague Irina went to school ready to give a presentation and demonstrate the experiment on oil production. We dressed up in coveralls, hard hat and safety glasses to create a field environment. Kids were asking all kinds of questions and stayed engaged all the time. When preparing for the lesson we were thinking about the experiment: what and how to show? One little detail that was bothering me was what we were going to use as oil. We had a lot of ideas; we wanted it to be more or less realistic in color but at the same time relatively safe. At the end of the day we picked coffee. What do you think happened when the kids came closer to look/perform the experiment? That was really funny, when they said surprisingly: “It smells like coffee!” There were a number of interesting moments during the class. We had a very good time!
You know what was the most rewarding thing for me? That night my son came to me and said: “You are the smartest mom in the World!” I almost cried.
Aizhana and her colleagues already have another presentation lined up, and plan to expand their outreach into Russian language and other Kazakh schools next year. Thanks for sharing Aizhana! If you would also like to share your classroom presentation experiences with Energy4me, contact us!
Teachers: Want more information about how you can request a classroom presentation? Visit our classroom resources page here!
Volunteers: Interesting in presenting to a classroom? Visit here for more information!
Guest blog courtesy of DaNel Hogan, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow and the NEED Project
One of my favorite things about the NEED Project is the fact that they use real classroom teachers to develop, update, and improve their energy education curricula. The NEED Teacher Advisory Board is regularly asked to weigh in on what is working and how it can be improved based on their experience using the activities in the classroom with their students. I just had the pleasure of helping with such an update of the Intermediate Grade Level Energy from Uranium and the Secondary Grade Level Exploring Nuclear curricula. The entire team at the NEED Project works hard to keep the data and information up-to-date in the curricula. With the recent tsunami in Japan, which caused a nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, it was definitely necessary to update the nuclear curricula to provide details about what happened during this event. Given that this is something students are certain to ask about, it is important that the current curricula reflects what we now know about this accident. Beyond the updates to the background information, you will also notice changes to some of the activities that reflect improvements based on classroom use and also on grade level appropriateness. Check out these updated pieces of curricula (and and thanks for continuing to work toward our goal of creating an energy literate citizenry!
Energy from Uranium(Intermediate)
Exploring Nuclear Energy (Secondary)
Did you know that Energy4me energy education events are held globally in conjunction with events, SPE sections, and SPE student chapters? Below is more information on upcoming Energy4me workshops and activities! Get involved!
Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) 2012 –http://www.spe.org/events/adipec/2012/pages/schedule/young_members.php
Education Week – 9-13 November 2012: This four day programme is for the benefit of the best undergraduate geosciences and engineering students from international institutions. It is anticipated that some 60-80 students will be selected to attend the program. Students’ expenses will be fully covered through sponsorships. The purpose of this programme is to give the students a clear insight into the industry that they are about to join; to allow them to return to their universities and colleges with a positive story to relate to their fellow students; and to provide opportunities for students to form new friendships and to work together on joint activities.
Teachers Workshop – 13 November 2012: Teachers’ workshop will be focused on educating the teachers about the energy world. SPE will ensure that educators will receive comprehensive, objective information about the scientific concepts of energy and its importance while discovering the world of oil and natural gas exploration and production. A variety of free instructional materials will be available to take back to the classroom.
Education Day – 14 November 2012: Education Day is an initiative to introduce students to the discipline of petroleum engineering, and the industry in general. Targeting High School Students, (Grade 10 to Grade 12), invited industry professionals will share their experience with students and deliver talks on topics of general interest and relevance to the industry. The students will be given free access to the exhibition area during ADIPEC. They will be able to see firsthand the high end technology used by engineers and the sophisticated software available for solving many engineering problems. It is hoped that they will leave the conference with a better understanding of what petroleum engineers do and their role in the broader community. Equally important, they will also become aware that a petroleum engineering career is full of challenges, teamwork and responsibilities.
Additionally, there will be “Education Days” at the below upcoming SPE events:
SPE Middle East Unconventional Gas Conference and Exhibition (UGAS) 28-30 January 2013 – http://www.spe.org/events/ugas/2013/index.php
SPE Middle East Oil & Gas Show and Conference (MEOS) 10-13 March 2013 – http://www.imexmanagement.com/show/70/meos-2013/
Want to enhance your knowledge of the petroleum industry? How about a petroleum museum! At the museums, watch history come to life with interactive displays, informative guides, and live demonstrations. Some even have specific, focused, elementary, middle and high school educational tours. From Calgary to France to West Virginia, petroleum museums tell fascinating stories of oil discovery, production, to showcasing some of the modern uses of oil you might not know about.
For instance, at the Houston Museum of Natural Science’s Energy exhibit, the Exploration gallery features the latest techniques used to search for hydrocarbons, from magnetometers and gravimeters to seismic vibrator trucks. In the Geology in the Field interactive, gaze across a barren, mountainous landscape, and watch as holographic illusions of two petroleum geologists materialize and explain what they are doing in the middle of nowhere. A massive Vibroseis truck interrupts them, sending its booming vibrations deep into the rock below.
At the Indonesian Oil and Gas Museum, the exhibits display how important the role of oil and gas is as the source of energy, for fuel, lubricants and petrochemical products. There’s even an oil tree that symbolically displays at its branches various products resulting from the refinery processes of oil and gas.
Check out our full petroleum museum listings HERE. Have plans to attend one on the list? Share your experience with us by Joining the conversation on Facebook— www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me!