Fracturing with gelatin

Making gelatin is fun, and it certainly is delicious. But fracturing gelatin from the inside is a cracking good time.

Hydraulic fracturing was one of the experiments conducted by the SPE Calgary Section during a recent school visit. About 60 students participated in a range of Energy4me activities where they learned concepts such as porosity and perforated well casings in addition to hydraulic fracturing.

Dispelling many of the myths about this form of hydrocarbon production, SPE members explained to students about the technical aspects that are involved in the process, and why it is one of the most regulated and safest forms of hydrocarbon production. The Society of Petroleum Engineers provides good information on hydraulic fracturing on the Energy4me website.

Through Energy4me’s hands-on activities, the students also saw first-hand the results of core sampling on different sub-surface terrains. The SPE members offered instruction on why it is important to use science when investigating what is beneath the surface during hydrocarbon exploration.

From porosity to perforated well casing, students left with a better understanding of the various steps that go into exploration and production.

Globally, Energy4me excites students about the oil and gas industry. Through its award-winning program, Energy4me teaches students that engineers are investigators and problem solvers, often leading to new technologies and innovations for the world’s energy needs.


SPE Colombia Teaches Energy4me to 600 Students

 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.”

The FAQ on E&P: Chatting with Middle School Students about Oil and Gas

SPE Gulf Coast section member Vikrant Lakhanpal recently visited Olle Middle School in Houston, Texas.

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.”


STEM Day at Elmore Elementary in Houston, Texas

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!”




Energy Education Happening Globally at SPE Events!

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/


Join the conversation on Facebook— www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me!

Energy4me, Energy Education, and Volunteers a Recipe for Success

Written for Ignite Magazine, below is a guest article about Energy4me, volunteering and the importance of energy education. Great read!


Energy is a critical issue worldwide and education about energy is important to keep the industry growing.  The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) encourages its members to educate the public about energy and put a face on the industry. SPE saw a need to provide teachers with factual, unbiased information that can be used in classrooms worldwide to spread the word about energy conservation and the future of the oil and gas industry.

 In order to meet this need, SPE created Energy4me, an energy education programme that provides energy resources to educators, teaches about careers in petroleum engineering, and discusses industry challenges. It was designed to make an impact through classroom and website resources, teacher development, and speaker programmes. 

Front Row (Left to Right): Lewis Milne, Michael Fernyhough. Back Row (Left to Right): Colin Black, Jennifer Kirk, 2012 SPE President, Ganesh Thakur.

The Energy4me resources include a kit with classroom materials created by teachers for teachers, and have been tested in a classroom environment. The kit contains ready-to-go presentations, classroom activities, lesson plans, and hands-on experiences to demonstrate the dynamic process of the discovery of oil and gas and how it shapes our lives. Many of the materials are available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.  

Free one-day teacher workshops are held at select SPE conferences. Each event covers age-specific, hands-on energy lessons and activities, offers a keynote speaker from the industry, and includes a technology tour. For their participation in the workshops, teachers receive the Oil and Natural Gas book, an information-filled book on the history and uses of oil to take back and use in their classroom. 

The Energy4me programme also holds student STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) workshops for secondary students at select SPE conferences. Students see firsthand the exciting opportunities the energy industry can offer by touring the latest state-of-the-art technology, meeting industry professionals, and participating in hands-on activities. These events also give students the chance to learn about emerging technology in the petroleum industry, career opportunities, or how energy makes an impact on our everyday lives. 

Participation from SPE members is fundamental to the success of the Energy4me programme. Members are encouraged, worldwide, to serve as classroom speakers, science fair judges, lead students and teachers in educational activities at select SPE conferences, and career fair exhibitors, as well as donate materials to schools. 

Colin Black, Optima Solutions UK Ltd Director and SPE School Career Guidance Chairman of the Aberdeen Section, is doing his part to give back to the Energy4me programme. He has organized a partnership with SPE, the Satrosphere Science Centre, and the Aberdeen City Council to develop the Energy4me Development project that aims to promote and enhance the learning and teaching of energy topics in primary schools in Aberdeen and throughout Scotland. 

“Energy education is vital to the future of our industry and it is important that we take the time to create a fun learning environment for students,” Black said. “By partnering SPE with the Satrosphere Science Centre and the Aberdeen City Council we have been given the opportunity to develop a programme that will make the difference in the lives of many students and hopefully entice them to pursue a future in the oil and gas industry.” 

Representatives from SPE, the Satrosphere Science Centre, and three teachers from the Aberdeen City schools worked together to develop an Energy4me pack, a useful and relevant educational resource that complements and supports curriculum for Excellence experiences and outcomes. It includes five lessons that meet the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence but can still be used anywhere in the world with modifications.  The lessons have been trialed in schools and were then refined and amended before the final version was produced for publication. 

Following a launch event to release the Energy4me pack, a continuing professional development session will be organized for local teachers. They will be given the opportunity to gain hands-on experience with the materials and activities prior to engaging their students. SPE volunteers will contribute to the training sessions and will also provide assistance in the classroom when the materials are introduced. The materials will be distributed in schools upon completion of the training sessions.

Want more information on Ignite Magazine? Email us at energyed@spe.org

Join the conversation on Facebook— www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me 


Take the Wheel… Run an Energy4me Program!

Together, we can make a difference by sharing the facts about energy with the public and putting a face on the industry.

Energy is a critical issue worldwide, and we believe face-to-face interaction is one of the many effective ways to spread the word about energy conservation, the future of the oil and gas industry and its impact on the planet! SPE members, teachers, young professionals and even university students all bring a facet to energy education that can lead the way.

Doing your part for energy education is easy, and there are plenty of ways for you to get involved! Based on your interests, you may consider the following activities:

  • Classroom presentations
  • Show and tell
  • Donate Energy4me materials to schools
  • Supporting teacher workshops
  • Scholarships/grants

Read more HERE about how to get started, setting a plan of action and how to utilize Energy4me materials during the program!

Join the conversation and discuss with us on Facebook— www.Facebook.com/Energy4me. You can also connect with us on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me.

SPE Pittsburgh Section Visits Local School, Talks Energy

Recently, Amanda Farr of the SPE Pittsburgh Section was asked to visit a local school, Braddock Hills Middle, to talk energy.  Braddock Hills is a Propel Charter School in the Pittsburgh area that allows students an alternative to typical public school. For some of their lessons, they look for people in the community who can relate to what they are studying in the classroom to bring the concepts home. One of the school’s science classes has been studying energy over the last few weeks: focusing mostly on green energy such as wind and solar power.

Educating, volunteering are foundations of the Energy4me program.

Because the students had so many questions about oil and gas, the science advisor envisioned someone in the industry coming in to speak to the class regarding facts about wind and solar power energy. Enter Amanda.

“I was excited about the opportunity to visit Braddock Hills and growing the outreach activities in the Pittsburgh area,” said Amanda. “Very exciting.”

After meeting with both the science coordinator and advisor, a plan was developed regarding the student presentation that would not only answer the students’ questions, but also provide them with valuable industry information that could use and apply. 

It was decided to spend half of the time explaining to the students about what certain engineers do and the other half talking about drilling for oil and gas. 

Amanda explained to the students what her role and responsibilities were for her job as a wireline field engineer for a service company. The students were very interested to hear about how Amanda has experience working on oil rigs and the value of an electrical engineering degree in the petroleum industry. 

During the presentation, Amanda wore coveralls, boots and a hard hat while passing out several of her tools for the students to hold and view. Once she explained what she did in the field, Amanda spoke about how one of the first oil wells was drilled near Pittsburgh, in Titusville, PA. Equally interested, the science advisor was excited to hear she went to college near the first oil well much to her amazement! 

Amanda went in-depth with the students about how wells were drilled, how they used seismic logging to figure out approximately where oil and gas fields are, and showed a few animations that explained hydraulic fracturing. 

“Overall, I think we all had a lot of fun and learned something in the process,” said Amanda. “I’m glad I had the opportunity to reach out to the community, diffuse some misconceptions and show both students and educators what the industry is all about here in the northeast.” 

Want to get involved? Interested in volunteering some capacity? There are many opportunities available: http://www.energy4me.org/spe-volunteers/ 

Want to discuss and leave your thoughts? Join us and other teachers on Facebook and leave your comments – www.Facebook.com/Energy4me

You can also connect with us at www.Twitter.com/Energy4me

SPE Education Day, Bangalore Section ( A Young Professionals Initiative)


Recently, the Young Professionals (YP) committee of SPE Bangalore Section organized an education day at Kendriya Vidyalaya in DRDO, Bangalore. The event was organized to guide school students interested in mathematics and science towards a career in the oil and gas sector which is one of the most exciting and challenging sectors. 

Students were treated to a day of energy education by the SPE Bangalore Section.

A team of seven people from SPE Bangalore section presented various options available to the students in oil and gas industry. The event received such overwhelming response that it had to be done twice to accommodate all the students. A total number of 150 students benefitted from the event.

The event began with the secretary of SPE Bangalore Section, Palvi Mech enlightening students about The Society of Petroleum Engineers, what it does and how it helps in the growth of oil and gas sector. This was followed by an overview of oil and gas sector by Jonathan Minz, Ashish Verma and Michelle Vishwanathan. The students were quite eager and enthusiastic throughout the presentation and repeatedly asked questions at regular intervals. 

Teachers are now interested in making the initiative a yearly event.

The overall event of around three hours was a new and exhilarating experience for the future budding engineers and scientists of Bangalore. It was a great success and the students were made aware of the various career options available to them in oil and gas industry. The students and teachers of Kendriya Vidyalaya especially appreciated the effort put by the YP committee and want this event to be a yearly calendar event.

Are you interested in holding a similar type of initiative? Find more information on how to do so here: http://www.energy4me.org/spe-volunteers/