Volunteers from a university in India showed high school students how to “dive” into their Energy4me experiments.
Volunteers from the SPE student chapter at Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) in Pune, India, recently hosted three different Energy4me workshops in local schools. Their deep “dive” into hands-on experiments not only attracted 450 high school students from the region, but also inspired them to learn more about a possible career in the oil and gas industry.
Each of the sessions began with an introduction about the importance of energy – oil and gas in particular – along with the perks of being a petroleum engineer.
Following the speaker sessions, the Energy4me volunteers helped the students conduct hands-on experiments illustrating some of the concepts the students had just learned: porosity, permeability, density, viscosity and perforated casings. The experiments proved too tempting for the teachers, as they quickly joined in the fun and participated alongside the students!
One of the experiments, the Cartesian diver, is named after famed French scientist René Descartes. This classic experiment demonstrates the principle of buoyancy and the ideal gas law. The “diver” can be a small tube, such as a drinking straw or eye dropper that contains a bubble of air. It is placed inside a plastic bottle, where that air bubble created neutral buoyancy, so the diver floats. Squeezing on the top of the sealed bottle decreases the volume and, therefore, increases air pressure, causing the diver to sink.
“We received an overwhelming response from both the students and the teaching faculty about the experiment,” said Nishant Bhushan, student chapter secretary. “It proved to be a great learning experience for all the student volunteers as well. This experiment demonstrates that as the pressure declines in a reservoir, a gas cap is created.”
After completing the experiments, students were eager to learn more about the petroleum industry as a whole.
That’s where the third component of the Energy4me program came into play; students and the school libraries received copies of the Oil and Natural Gas book.
“The students saw the workshop as a very valuable event and were intrigued by the prospects of a petroleum engineer,” Bhushan said. “The workshop as a whole was a successful and intellectually enlightening event.”
The MIT student chapter is actively engaged in organizing various community outreach programs, and their hard work with Energy4me is no exception . These students understand the importance of attracting new talent for the oil and industry, so they conducted three Energy4me workshops at schools in Pune.