Energy Education is one of the most important areas of focus for the Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (PESA), and we are proud to support a range of energy education programs designed to provide children and young adults with a strong foundation in STEM-based disciplines at multiple levels, furthering awareness of the oil and gas industry’s fundamental contributions to global society.
PESA’s Energy Educators Committee oversees these efforts and coordinates member involvement in the following programs:
• Offshore Energy Center (OEC) – Mobile Oilfield Learning Units (elementary and middle school level)
• IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center – Energy Institute High School and five Petroleum Academies: Multidisciplinary academic learning experience in the concepts needed to pursue careers in engineering, geology, geophysics and global energy management in the oil and natural gas industry. (high school level)
• PESA Fellowship – Rice University’s Center for Civic Leadership – Undergraduate internships geared toward the social responsibility, sustainability, safety and environmental efforts of the oil and natural gas industry. (undergraduate level)
As part of these programs, PESA member company Halliburton recently supported a Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit (MOLU) visit to schools in the Rio Grande Valley in March. Schools included Sam Rayburn Elementary School in the McAllen ISD and Veteran’s Middle School, W.A. Todd Middle School and D.M. Sauceda Middle School all in the Donna ISD.
These schools are working to improve student performance, and the MOLU’s visit exposed approximately 800 students to science, technology, energineering and math concepts in a unique way.
The MOLU is a traveling exhibit consisting of six self-contained, kiosk-style learning centers. These learning centers feature curriculum-based, hands-on activities about energy and the technologies and sciences involved with the oil and natural gas industry. Instead of reading about these engaging topics from a book or watching a video, the MOLU enables students to experience them firsthand and learn by discovery instead of by lecture.
The MOLU is particularly geared to fifth grade students, since science, including energy, is a focus area for that school year’s TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test. However, the MOLU is also appropriate for other age groups. Curriculum for each of the MOLU’s 24 activities is based on national and Texas state standards. By teaching science and technology concepts through the oil and gas industry, the students gain a greater understanding of our industry.
The unit is transported via truck/trailer for setup and exhibition in school gymnasiums or other areas. Up to 192 students can participate per MOLU exhibition day, with 48 students rotating through the exhibit every two hours. In that way, a visit by a MOLU offers students a field trip experience without having to leave their school.
The MOLU is unique opportunity to provide students exposure to science, engineering, and technology. Instead of reading about robotics or geology, with the MOLU they can actually see these concepts first hand. The MOLU also highlights the cutting-edge innovation that is taking place within our industry.
We’re proud to support this on behalf of our members in the service and supply sector, and will continue to search out and support these programs that tell the story of our industry to our most important audience – the next generation of leaders.
Learn more about energy education programs supported by PESA at www.pesa.org.
Photos courtesy of PESA