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Oil and Natural Gas Exploration Education

Thursday, August 11, 2011

In an effort to promote energy education, API-Delta and SPE-Delta pooled resources to host a teacher workshop in Oil and Natural Gas Education. Teachers from the Greater New Orleans area spent a week of their summer vacation attending the Denver Earth Science Project Workshop developed by the Colorado School of Mines. The workshop provided teachers the opportunity to actively participate in module activities while attending special lectures by geologists, engineers and geophysicists from the oil industry.

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Teachers received the necessary scientific background to successfully teach Oil and Gas Exploration to their students. In the workshop teachers were trained about and learned how to use resource kits to teach students K-12 about oil, rock and core samples, logs, drilling, etc. Each teacher received the kit valued at $425 which included:

  • oil samples
  • a core sample
  • rock samples
  • maps
  • electric log
  • seismic section
  • a DVD presentation

They also received the teacher's guide, $200 gift certificate for Science Kit and Ward's Natural Science, student manuals and a course completion certificate. In addition, the program also provided a set of Louisiana rocks and minerals put together by the Louisiana Geologic Survey.

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The "Oil and Gas Exploration" module teaches a student basic concepts through the exploration of hydrocarbons. The hands-on activities use real data from industry, and follow a problem-solving approach. In addition, the module integrates science, mathematics, geography, economics, and social studies into a high interest topic. The "Gushers 'n Dusters" simulation game, also included in the kit, provides an opportunity to see the economics of the oil industry as banks, oil companies, and drilling companies negotiate and do business. For more information on the course visit http://desp.mines.edu/.

Each teacher expressed gratitude. Several admitted they had no idea of the intricacies of the industry and were pleased to learn of the lucrative job opportunities within the industry. All intend to incorporate their new knowledge into their classes this coming school year and feel they are better informed as to the importance of oil in their everyday life. Students throughout the GNO area will experience the results of this training.

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