Visit a Petroleum Museum… They Tell Fascinating Stories!

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!  

Why Petroleum Engineering? Better Job Opportunities!

Looking to cash in on some of the opportunities the shale gas industry now affords, students are taking up a major in petroleum engineering. A petroleum engineer “understands the drilling aspects, he understands the reservoir management. Whereas the oil and gas industry used to rely on a patchwork of skills from civil, chemical and mechanical engineers, companies are increasingly in search of trained petroleum engineers who specialize in oil field operations,” said Steve Benson, chairman of the North Dakota University Department of Petroleum Engineering. “They’re just equipped well.”

When students in the major are not available, oil and gas firms will look to recruit from other engineering disciplines, but petroleum engineering is quickly becoming a requirement in the field.

“There are a few exceptions where other engineering disciplines such as chemical, mechanical or civil might be considered with training, but by and large, a petroleum engineering degree is preferred,” said Steve Woodhead, manager of university affairs for Chevron Corp.

To meet industry needs, many of the nation’s existing engineering programs are expanding their course offerings, faculty numbers and class sizes. After graduating, petroleum engineering students are well-positioned to earn a starting salary between $80,000 and $100,000, depending on the company. According to Pay Scale on 6 April 2012, the national salary data information tells us Petroleum Engineers total pay range is from 61,559- $199,961. Currently, 92% of petroleum engineers are males and females make up 8%.

What do you think about this assessment? Let’s discuss on Facebook www.Facebook.com/Energy4me or on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me

Sources: Pamela King, E&E reporter

Published: Monday, March 19, 2012

Pay Scale Research; Petroleum Engineer Salary, Updated: 6 Apr 2012

Going From STEM to STEAM — The Arts Have a Role in America’s Future, Too

Joseph Piro, Education Week

In education circles, STEM—the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—has been gathering, for want of a better descriptor, “alpha” status. Not only has President Barack Obama announced a $250 million public-private initiative to recruit and train more STEM teachers, but also the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top Fund grants competition is giving bonus points for applications that stress STEM instruction.

This funding is on top of the nearly $700 million the federal government already spends on science and math education programs within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies. Factor in what’s earmarked by individual states for STEM and a picture emerges of where a lot of tax money is rightfully going.

This generous support is being allocated in the belief (or fear) that the United States is becoming less competitive and secure, that we are losing our global-leader status in STEM fields and being eclipsed by other countries, mostly in Asia.

Yet, in the midst of all the STEM frenzy, we may want to do something riskier, and more imaginative, to save the country: turn STEM funding into STEAM funding. Inserting the letter A, for the arts, into the acronym could afford us even greater global advantage.

Many may be puzzled by this statement, considering that the arts have held a traditionally marginalized place in both American society and the school curriculum. And, in the eyes of some, support for the arts has a dubious payback, especially in areas of national concern such as defense, homeland security, and technology. The arts are something we do when we stop being serious. Friday afternoons spent drawing turkeys, pumpkins, and valentines in more classrooms than one might think can attest to this.

But just consider the following. A 2008 study from the National Endowment for the Arts, “Artists in the Workforce,” showed that individuals involved in the arts represent a sizable branch of the labor force, only slightly smaller than the total number of active-duty and reserve personnel in the U.S. military. What may also be surprising to some is that artists make up a larger occupational group than lawyers, medical doctors, or agricultural workers. The size of the artistic community gives it an astonishing $70 billion aggregate annual income. The country’s $316 billion communication and entertainment business employs a diverse range of artists, including musicians, actors, filmmakers, videographers, and architects. It is probably safe to say that most of these people prepared for their careers by participating in some sort of arts education program…


Joseph Piro is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction in the school of education at Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus, in Brookville, N.Y.

Teachers, what do you think?

Energy4me and National Science Education Standards

Author: Marva Morrow, Energy Education Ambassador

The natural world is filled with awe and wonder. It is in our nature to be curious about our world around us. Everyone deserves to share in the excitement and personal fulfillment that can come from understanding and learning about our natural world. In a world filled with the products of scientific inquiry, scientific literacy has become a necessity for everyone. We all need to use scientific information to make choices that arise every day.

According to an overview of the National Academies, Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering and Medicine, “The National Science Education Standards present a vision of a scientifically literate populace. The standards outline what students need to know, understand and be able to do to be scientifically literate at different grade levels. They describe an educational system in which all students demonstrate high levels of performance, in which teachers are empowered to make the decisions essential for effective learning, in which interlocking communities of teachers and students are focused on learning science, and in which supportive educational programs and systems nurture achievement. The Standards point toward a future that is challenging but attainable—which is why they are written in the present tense.”

The Energy4me lesson plans, designed for our Oil and Natural Gas book, are aligned with the aforementioned National Science Education Standards. The Standards emphasize both excellence and equity, and highlight the need to give students the opportunity to learn science.  Students cannot achieve high levels of performance without access to skilled professional teachers, adequate classroom time, a rich array of learning materials and the resources of the the communities surrounding their schools. Learning science is something that students must do through “hands-on” and “minds on” activities: a point of emphasis for Energy4me.

Energy4me lesson plans also support the 5E constructivist learning cycle, helping students build their own understanding from experiences and new ideas. The 5Es represent the five stages of a sequence for teaching and learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaboration and Evaluate. The 5E model was developed by The Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS).

Download the Energy4me lesson plans and ‘hands-on-activities” and let us know what you think. Visit our classroom resources and get connected with classroom speakers, teacher workshops, classroom activities and materials and student events.                                                         

SPE Dallas Section Hosts Science Teacher Barnett Shale Field Trip!

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Dallas section took local science teachers on a Barnett Shale field trip Thursday, November 18, 2011.

The tour started off at the Ellison Miles Geotechnology Institute (EMGI) where Dallas section members Toni Lott, Brad Robinson, Deborah Hempel-Medina, Brian Chacka, and Patrick Crawford made a presentation covering the history of Oil and Natural Gas, Geology and the History of Barnett Shale, Drilling a well, and Hydraulic Fracturing. Teachers were engaged in the presentations and asked the presenters a lot of questions to get a better understanding of the industry and how they could relay the information to their students in the classroom.

After the overview, everyone was styling in their safety gear as they prepared to go out into the field. Each participant wore steeled toed boots, fire retardant overalls, safety glasses, ear plugs, and hard hats. The teachers were able to visit three sites where they learned firsthand about safety, advance technologies, and rules and regulations all involved in operating each site. The sites teachers visited are listed as follows.

  • Williams Company Drilling Site
  • Devon Energy Hydraulic Fracturing Site
  • Chesapeake Learning Center

After a full day of touring, teachers headed back to the Dallas Convention Center full of knowledge about the industry, their hard hat as a souvenir, and information to take back to their classrooms that included an “Oil and Natural Gas” book.

This workshop was made possible by the Ellison Miles Geotechnology Institute, Society of Petroleum Engineers-Dallas Section, Halliburton Energy Services, Williams Company, Devon Energy Company, Baker-Hughes Oilfield Services and Chesapeake Energy.

Energy4me and the Society of Petroleum Engineers want to thank everyone involved.

Learn more about careers in the industry.

Participate in America’s Home Energy Education Challenge!

Guest Author – Matthew Maguire Inman, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, United States Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

It’s that time again: Back to school season is officially here! Time for students to prepare for the new experiences and challenges that they will encounter throughout the upcoming school year.

One such challenge—from the Department of Energy in partnership with the National Science Teachers Association—aims to tap into the creativity and enthusiasm of students across the country.

America’s Home Energy Education Challenge is designed to educate students in grades 3-8 about the benefits of energy efficiency, and motivate them to encourage their families and communities to put energy and money-saving ideas learned in the classroom into action at home.

“This exciting competition is designed to inspire the next generation of energy leaders to take simple and affordable steps today that will save money and get them thinking about energy issues at an early age,” said Energy Secretary Chu.

There are two ways for teachers, students and families to participate: The first is through the Home Energy Challenge and the second is through the Energy Fitness Award. Each is designed to encourage learning about science and energy with the added benefit of saving money by saving energy. The Home Energy Challenge encourages students to work with their families to reduce home energy use—monitoring energy savings over a three-month period. Schools with the highest number of points earned for reducing household energy usage, student participation, creativity and overall quality of their local energy savings program qualify for awards.

The Energy Fitness Award is a separate individualized educational challenge scheduled to begin September 20, 2011. Modeled after the President’s Physical Fitness Test, the Energy Fitness Award encourages students to complete specific tasks, such as interpreting a home energy bill and learning how to conduct a home energy assessment, and then demonstrate their learning and proficiency. The Energy Fitness Award will challenge students to become smart energy users. Each student who successfully completes the components of the Energy Fitness Award will receive an Energy Fitness Badge.

Participating schools and classrooms, as well as Home School networks, will compete within 11 regions for more than $200,000 in prizes distributed at the regional and national levels. Official registration for the Home Energy Education Challenge began August 15, and ends on October 7, 2011. Students are encouraged to register with their teachers by September 30, 2011 to take advantage of the full energy savings period.

For more information, visit the Home Energy Education Challenge website. And for more on how saving energy saves you money, visit the Energy Savers and Kids Saving Energy pages. Also, visit energy4me.org for tips on how you can save more energy at home!

Energy Education Materials are a Hit!

Guest Author – Mary Spruill, Executive Director, National Energy Education Development Project (NEED)

Energy4Me materials developed in partnership with NEED are a huge hit and will be used by NEED’s trainers throughout the 2011-2012 school year.

Throughout the year, The NEED Project (www.need.org) and Energy4me, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) energy education program, work together on many energy education activities including the Teacher and Student Workshop at the Offshore Technology Conference and the Teacher and Student Workshop at SPE’s ATCE.  Each summer though, NEED’s energy programs get bigger and faster paced with so many kids and teachers to reach in only a few short weeks.  This June and July were no exception with over 550 kids and teachers in Washington, D.C. to participate in the 31st Annual NEED Youth Awards for Energy Achievement.  This event recognizes school groups who commit to learning about energy and to sharing their knowledge with their peers, their teachers and their communities.  Students submit portfolios of  their energy programming in April for review at the state and national level, and the winning schools come spend 4 days in the Nation’s Capital sharing their energy work, touring our monuments and museums, and meeting with elected and appointed officials.

On a sleepy Sunday morning during the conference – the kids are up early and working on hands-on activities featuring the lessons provided by Energy4Me and some lessons that NEED and Energy4Me created together.  The students are learning about porosity and permeability, and the work needed to bring oil and natural gas to market.  They learn about transportation efficiency too and consider ways to make the vehicles of tomorrow and their own driving habits more efficient too.  The activities from Energy4Me are engaging, fun, and provide students with the background they need to really understand the oil and natural gas resources we use each day.  They leave with big smiles, new friends, and new activities to take home to their communities and share.

As soon as the Youth Awards wraps up, NEED’s training team heads out to the NEED National Energy Conference for Educators.  This year’s conference in Denver, Colorado hosted 150 educators from across the country and from Thailand and the Saipan.  For a week, the educators were like students at summer camp – learning about each other and about energy so they could return to their classrooms and teach energy with excitement and fun.  The Energy4Me activities and the presentation resources allow students and teachers alike to look more deeply into oil and natural gas development and use.  This year’s opening speaker was Don McClure, Vice President for Community Relations, Legal and Finance at EnCana, one of America’s largest natural gas producers.  Don’s extensive background in energy provided teachers with a look at how diverse the industry is, the number of jobs available for all types of students, and the challenges and opportunities that abound in developing natural gas in America.  In the days that followed, teachers learned about density, drilling technologies, properties of oil and natural gas and are prepared to take the lessons home and open up the oil and natural gas world to their students.

But that’s not all.  After Denver, the team packed up and traveled to La Quinta, California for NEED’s Facilitator Training Conference.  This conference is hosted every few years and brings together teachers, NEED’s training staff, and energy professionals from many companies and  agencies to sharpen their facilitation skills, to train on new content and new materials, and to learn how to deliver energy curriculum and training to teachers in NEED’s 600+ energy trainings each year.  This year’s group of 40 trainers rolled up their sleeves and researched and presented about America’s leading energy sources, they debated the advantages and disadvantages of the energy sources we use today, and they developed methods to share energy information with teachers and students nationwide. The It is a busy (but fun!) summer and together with SPE, NEED is reaching thousands of teachers and students each year.  As America’s teachers head back to school this month, let’s take a minute to thank them and to encourage them to teach about energy as often as possible in class!

For the 2011-2012 NEED curriculum guides or to register for a NEED workshop near you visit www.need.org!


North-east schools get educated at All-Energy 2011

All-Energy hosted an Education Day at its 2011 conference Thursday 19th May to help educate local schools about a range of renewable topics.

Organised by Aberdeen Council, Aberdeenshire Council, the Energy Institute and the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen, the event is aimed at teachers and careers advisors to help raise awareness of the Renewable sector.

The event also hosted the final of the ‘Electrocity Challenge’ where five teams of four children from Meldrum Academy, Peterhead Academy, Mackie Academy, Turriff Academy and Mintlaw Academy went head to head in an “ElectroCity” Competition.   ElectroCity is an online game that has been developed specifically for teachers and students between years 7 and 9. Students build and manage their own virtual towns and cities, making important decisions and learning about energy generation and environmental management. Representatives from a range of businesses led round tables to provide valuable industry information to subject-specialist teachers and career guidance experts.

Colin Black, SPE CG Chairman, Aberdeen Section, said:  “This event focuses on sharing information with teachers and pupils so they are better informed about the ‘whole energy’ sector and careers within it.  This includes the ‘energy mix’ of hydrocarbons and renewable as well as the vital role the oil and gas sector plays now and in the future.

This is a global energy industry with many opportunities for young people – SPE Aberdeen aims to continue to provide background information, facts, guidance on career paths and information on how to enter the industry.  This event is a positive step towards this.” 

SPE Aberdeen, along with other hosts, provided tour guides for teachers and pupils to meet many of the businesses exhibiting at the show. 

SPE collaboration with Schools is part of the global SPE initiative http://www.energy4me.org/  and SPE volunteers will be working closely with Schools during various events throughout this next term and anyone wishing to lend support should contact the Aberdeen Section, Career Guidance Committee at CG-Aberdeen@spemail.org

Join in the fun and help celebrate Engineers Week February 20-26!

Engineers Week is a global program that promotes math, science and technological literacy while encouraging students to consider a career in engineering by raising awareness of the positive contributions engineers make in today’s society. This year’s events will take place February 20-26, 2011, with additional events in March.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a sponsoring society of Engineers Week and hopes to attract bright young people to the exciting world of engineering. Many of SPE’s local sections use Energy4me to bring Engineers Week to their communities through activities such as:

  • Giving classroom presentations

Energy – Making Our Lives Easier (elementary)

Petroleum Engineers Make a World of Difference (intermediate/secondary)

Game – Petroleum Engineers Make a World of Difference (intermediate/secondary)

Energy’s Grand Challenges (educators/adults)

Energy Sources of the World  (educators, adults, intermediate and secondary)

  • Organizing student tours of interesting engineering achievements in the community
  • Sponsoring materials for a teacher workshop
  • Judging local Future City™ competitions
  • Offering art or essay contests for students on the importance of engineering
  • Purchasing Oil and Natural Gas books and Energy4me Kits to donate to schools
  • Holding “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” events
  • Hosting “Engineer for a Day” programs in which high school students shadow engineers for one day
  • Presenting annual engineering scholarships awards banquets
  • Teaming with other organizations in your community for an expanded outreach

Need ideas to get started? Check out the Engineers Week website for tips to jumpstart your Engineers Week celebration with special programs like “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” and National Engineers Week Future City™ Competition.

Visit energy4me.org to learn more about engineering careers

Start a Local Energy4me Program!

If you’re an SPE member, starting an Energy4me program for your section could be a great way to connect with young people and get the word out about important energy topics. You may even inspire a talented future engineer!

Energy4me makes it easy. Start by gauging your section’s energy education interests. You can do this by conducting member interest surveys through your section newsletter or by brainstorming with section subcommittees. Are your section’s members more interested in working “behind the scenes” or interacting face to face with students? Would they rather have an energy program that is active throughout the year, or one that hosts one or two large annual events?

Once you’ve determined your section’s interests, you can put Energy4me’s resources to work. We offer tips on how to make fantastic classroom presentations, information on how to start a scholarship program, and free handouts that you can give to students (career brochures, bookmarks and more). You can even purchase Energy4me Kits, which are full of educational materials, for local teachers, and if you give a classroom presentation, we’ll donate a copy of our colorful “Oil and Natural Gas” book to the classroom in your name.

Energy4me makes it easy for SPE sections to make a difference in students’ lives! 

Energy4me’s educational materials are also available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.