Teachers attend energy education workshops

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Teachers of multiple grade levels all across Ohio will walk into classrooms this fall ready to share with their students exciting new information, labs and educational materials they received by attending specialized energy education workshops this summer. More than 70 Ohio teachers took part in the sessions hosted by the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP).

Attending workshops from Highland County were: Brittany Hammonds from Greenfield Middle School, April Leaverton from Greenfield Middle School, Jessica Kaaz from Hillsboro High School, and Kimberly Smith from Hillsboro High School

Now in their 18th year, OOGEEP teacher workshops continue to provide educators with a better understanding of how science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) principles are used by energy professionals every day. OOGEEP’s science curriculum, STEM Lessons in Oil and Gas Energy Education, was designed by teachers to meet specific state and national science standards. During the workshops, professional educators walk teachers through the curriculum and assist in the various hands-on science labs. Industry professionals also offer insight into how science and industry are intimately connected. This year, the summer workshop series were held in Marietta and Canton, and also included tours to a wide variety of facilities in the state.

“OOGEEP provided a wonderful workshop filled with new learning opportunities from a multitude of experts from across the oil and gas industry,” said Hammonds. “I left with a better understanding of this industry and I plan to share what I learned with my students.”

“Summer learning provided by OOGEEP will definitely help enhance my classroom instruction and benefit Hillsboro students in the coming years,” said Kaaz. “At this workshop, I enjoyed being a student of the industry while I was being equipped and valued as an educator.”

“It’s essential for Ohio’s teachers and students to learn about the importance of energy production, and how it impacts every resident in this state,” stated Rhonda Reda, OOGEEP Executive Director. “As an important industry to Ohio, it is also our responsibility to make sure that we continue to support teachers and students in our communities, and to help demonstrate how science education is critical to developing local energy resources.”

OOGEEP’s STEM Lessons in Oil and Gas Energy Education includes curriculum related to geology, engineering and chemistry, among other areas. It includes experiments that: demonstrate how biotic material is transformed into hydrocarbons; explain the principles of geologic time and how crude oil and gas are stored and move through rock formations; help students understand how scientists map geologic formations underground using sound waves; demonstrate the importance of engineering and math in drilling, producing and transporting crude oil and natural gas; and how chemistry is critical to refining and processing hydrocarbons into more than 6,000 familiar products such as plastics, soaps, medicines, synthetic fibers and rubber.

Through financial support from Ohio’s oil and gas producers, there is no cost for teachers to attend the energy education workshops. Educators earn continuing education credits, optional graduate credit, and receive graphic organizers, internet activities, career connections, curriculums, classroom supplies and material kits to take back to their classroom and students. Information about OOGEEP’s teacher workshops and other resources available for educators and students can be found online at oogeep.org/teachers-students.

Submitted by Mark Bruce, Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program.

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