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.”
Aberdeen, we have an astronaut!
That wasn’t exactly the introduction as retired NASA astronaut Rick Hieb visited the Scottish city recently to educate local teachers on science and space exploration. But, it was accurate!
Hieb was joined by NASA space scientist Sue Lederer and Hyang Lloyd, president and co-founder of the Scottish Space School Foundation USA. The trio visited Aberdeen as part of the NASA in Aberdeen 2017 project, participating in a range of scientific events catering to students from primary and secondary schools plus families visiting Aberdeen Science Centre.
This initiative was jointly organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers, the Energy Institute and Society of Underwater Technology.
The NASA in Aberdeen project seeks to inspire the next generation of engineers, said SPE member and Energy4me advocate Colin Black, who also serves as chairman of the NASA in Aberdeen project.
“We seek to show the link between the technology and processes used in space travel and how these translate to the energy industry,” Black said. “A large part of this is providing continued professional development for teachers to continue this learning, encouraging pupils to consider a career in the energy sector as a result.”
The program offered educational lessons to teachers on topics such as staying safe in space and returning to Earth. The teachers said that not only were the resources to be useful and enjoyable but that they also plan to use what they’ve learned in their classrooms, teach their students even more about space travel and its relation to other industries.
“NASA in Aberdeen is an excellent collaboration bringing oil and gas industry bodies together with STEM education organizations to inspire the next generation through demonstrating the exciting possibilities solving the challenges we face both in space as well as here on Earth,” said Stuart Farmer, chair of the educational committee for the NASA in Aberdeen 2017 project. “In addition to the recent visit of NASA staff, the subsequent series of professional development workshops for secondary science teachers ensures the project provides ongoing support for teachers.”
Which is more dense – an orange inside its skin or an orange that has been peeled?
Parents can easily conduct an experiment on density at home. It’s fun for mom and dad to perform hands-on science experiments together, so we created a low-cost experiment that uses household items.
With younger children, ask them if the cork or the rock would sink. For older children, present a real-life situation such as the sinking of the Titanic. Ask real-life density examples such as how does a life jacket provide flotation and how does a massive steel ship float.
For those students who excel at the toughest density experiments, it’s time to present the Archimedes’ principle for density. An ancient Greek mathematician and engineer, Archimedes devised a method to test if a crown was forged of solid gold, or if silver diluted the gold crown of King Hiero II. When submerged in water, the crown would displace an amount of water equal to its own volume. This density would be lower than that of gold if cheaper and less dense metals had been added. Archimedes’ experiment proved that silver had been added to the king’s crown.
I would hate to be that goldsmith who cheated the king!
To try this at home, parents should explain the principle of density and perform the experiment. To test your child’s knowledge, ask him or her to explain the concept and perform the experiment on their own then justify the result.”
Ah, and to the question posed at the beginning of this story – did you get the right answer? The peeled orange sinks like a rock. The rind of an orange is full of tiny air pockets which help give it a lower density than water, making it float to the surface.
Fueling young minds, that’s why Vikrant Lakhanpal recently visited Olle Middle School in Houston, Texas.
Lakhanpal, a production engineer at Proline Energy Resources, spoke with the students about the whole life cycle of energy production from oil and gas – geological exploration, drilling, production, transportation and refining.
“I got a chance to interact with the students and understand their perspective about the E&P industry,” he said. “It was interesting to understand what the young minds think about petroleum engineering as a career.”
A member of the Gulf Coast section, Lakhanpal based his presentation on the future energy outlook, increasing dependency on renewable energy and how the world will still depend on oil and gas 30 years from now. Lakhanpal said that even though a lot of research is happening in the renewable sector, it is not possible to become completely fossil fuel independent.
He also emphasized that oil production is a multi-disciplinary science, and the first principles of science are applied at each stage.
“I sometimes hear students ask why a certain subject is being taught to them,” Lakhanpal said. “They think it won’t be of any use in the future. That’s exactly why I wanted to give them the technical details of how things actually work. I wanted them to realize that petroleum engineering is not something out of the world; it is based on the principles of physics used to extract oil from ground.”
Lakhanpal created a trivia quiz game. He said he was concerned that the students had not been interested in the topic he presented. Had they paid attention? Would they be able to answer the questions? Happily, he received an over-whelming response.
“They asked questions about which courses to take, whether to go for an associate degree or a master’s degree,” Lakhanpal said. “I am glad I could make a difference and motivate them to take up STEM education. I am thankful to SPE for giving me this opportunity of making an impact in someone’s life. I will definitely make myself available again for such opportunities in future.”
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!”
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/
SPE’s Energy4me program won top honors in the “best outreach program” category at the World Oil Awards in Houston, Texas. The awards ceremony, now in its 15th year, seeks to recognize and honor the upstream industry’s top innovations and innovators.
Also being honored by World Oil, Nathan Meehan, 2016 SPE president, received the “lifetime achievement” award. This award is bestowed on an individual who has made both significant strides and impacted the oil and gas industry throughout his or her career.
In all, awards were given out in 18 categories that encompass the full breadth of the upstream industry. Today’s innovations, many of which would have seemed far-fetched a generation ago, are enabling operators to find and produce hydrocarbons more safely, economically and efficiently.
“I’m so very proud of the work that Energy4me accomplishes in classrooms and workshops around the world,” said Glenda Smith, SPE Vice President for Communications. “Under the leadership of Liz Johnson, the Energy4me team of Kim LaGreca and Zunaid Jooma delivers online educational resources to educators while helping students learn balanced information about the industry.”
Also vying for the best outreach program award were PetroChallenge at NExT, a Schlumberger company, and the VIP Consultant Program at Paradigm. The Energy4me program is honored to be selected from these prestigious nominees.
In awarding the program, the World Oil Awards said that the program has “increased awareness and, through its workshops, created opportunities for students to enter the industry. The program has contributed, by using hands-on activities, to the increased interest and passion of the students, leading them to choose engineering as their career path.”
The judges also said that Energy4me’s hands-on activities ensure that many students will be exposed to the various career paths in the industry and will contribute to increasing manpower and available human resources in the future.
Energy4me and World Oil share a commitment to oil and gas education. Each year the World Oil Awards endows a leading university that provides education for careers in the petroleum industry, with much-needed funding to equip the next generation of innovators. Since the inception of the World Oil Awards, donations have been distributed to 32 universities as varying as the University of Houston and the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. This year’s beneficiary is the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
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/
Guest blog by Jeannine Huffman, CTE Energy & Design Instructor, San Joaquin County Office of Education – Stockton, CA. Courtesy of The NEED Project.
How did Jeannine Huffman convince her students to not only want to learn about energy content, but remember it as well? Her strategy was kids teaching kids… read more in this fascinating blog post!
At the end of the school year my high school students know energy transformations, energy sources, and electricity generation by heart. In fact, when Pacific Gas and Electric sent a team to help students conduct an energy audit, the professionals said that our students were the only students they had ever worked with who could name every form and source of energy, each transformation, and how electricity was generated.
How did I accomplish this? I first had to convince my students at the beginning of each year to want to learn and remember the energy content. I did this by introducing them to the Learning Pyramid. I have known about the Learning Pyramid, but have not had an opportunity to fully put its method into action until I began using NEED curriculum. I have grown more and more convinced that the Pyramid is representative of the belief that when Kids Teach Kids they retain and apply the content more effectively.
How does it work in my classroom? I post the Learning Pyramid Chart and refer to it during class, reminding the students that our goal is to reach the top. At the bottom of the chart is Lecture 5%, so I say to my students, “If I stand up here and lecture, you will only remember 5%. In fact, you probably wonder how you are ever going to remember everything.” Student buy-in is critical and right away they see on the chart that they will only remember 10% if they read along with my lecture. As students move up the chart, adding visuals to reading and lecture, the retention increases to 20%. This affords the students a chance to tap into their meta-cognitive skills which means they are thinking about their own learning and taking personal responsibility to examine how they learn.
Demonstrations help students remember a concept but it has been suggested that they will only remember 30%. How do I know this? When asked to explain energy transformations, or energy flow from the sun, most cannot explain the concept completely. Allowing students to discuss in groups and as a class may increase their retained knowledge up to 50%. As a teacher you will reap rewards, and they will too, by allowing them to discuss and collaborate. It is OK for a classroom to be noisy. Science and technology aren’t silent. After demonstrations and discussion about half the class can explain the energy flow well.
When students practice by doing, the retention can increase to 75%. Through repetition, most students are able to easily explain the energy transformation. Let your students experiment, explore and work in teams. It is more work for you to set up multiple labs, but the return on the investment of teacher time is significant. NEED’s hands-on kits (wind, solar, Science of Energy and more) come with equipment for demonstrations and experiments like the Hand Generated Flashlight that students use to see how motion energy transforms to electrical energy. Hands-on learning always requires more investment of time in the classroom, but it pays off in student performance and classroom success.
The biggest return on the investment is when students are afforded the opportunity to teach others. This is not a surprise to NEED teachers. For example, once you became a teacher, your first lecture on electrons made much more sense and led to more personal understanding. The same holds true for your students. Unless they can explain each step accurately, they do not really understand the concept. What a perfect way to assess your students on the spot! The work that goes into preparing to teach a class prepares students for energy presentations and other academic presentations they will give throughout the year. It is an effective, and fun, way to bring important concepts about energy out of the classroom and into the community. Teach each other, teach others.
What is the gain by taking extra classroom time for every student to teach each other? A whopping 90%. I believe it! There is a great deal of satisfaction in observing them as they teach and as I assess them informally. Once students are trained in this method, they know they do not leave the classroom until they have taught others. By the time the student teams have practiced and presented lessons, they have heard the concepts better than they ever expected. Moreover, students seem to compete with one another to see who can give the best presentation! The classroom becomes a truly cooperative learning space and students all pay better attention, are more engaged and accountability and responsibility for learning skyrockets. One freshman, who was struggling to grasp a concept after several attempts to explain, finally had an AH HA! moment and said, “I will never forget this!” This is what a teacher lives for!
To embed this knowledge, I reinforce regularly in a playful way. Out of the blue I will say, “I just heard a noise outside who can trace that energy flow from the sun?” Hands shoot up as students have become very aware of energy around them.
This about this: I was talking with my niece about teaching electrolytes in my chemistry class. My niece said, “I memorized what the definition of an electrolyte was and passed my chemistry class last year, but I can’t even tell you what it is now.” This statement disturbed me. How many of us are good at memorizing facts but still don’t know how to apply that knowledge? Teach them to teach and they will never forget!
I love the NEED curriculum. But it is only recently that I have come to realize the importance of the motto, “Kids Teaching Kids.” It was not until I had firsthand experience with the Learning Pyramid that see and know how well it works.
Learn more about the NEED project at www.NEED.org