Lab activities connect with career possibilities

Dorie Mallas teaches science at Indian Creek Middle School. The Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education workshop showed her that these science lessons can connect to future jobs for her students. Mallas said, “In order to prepare my students for future job opportunities, they need to have a better understanding of the various gas and oil industry careers now becoming available to them. We, who live in Southeastern Ohio, happen to live in an area that has abundant sources of energy, in the forms of natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids, in the ground beneath us. These energy sources have, only recently, begun to be extracted.”

To help her students understand about these science concepts, Mallas used the Migration and Trapping lessons. Students “baked rocks” to learn about porosity, the storage capacity of rocks and sediment, and permeability, the ability of liquids and gases to move through spaces in the rocks and sediment. Mallas said her students were interested to hear about how natural resources formed in their area. “It was an "aha moment" for my students when they realized that all energy came from the sun, and that no new energy had been created or destroyed, but just changed form,” Mallas added.

She said the workshop was helpful to her as a teacher: “It’s important that we educators are able to explain this developing industry, so we can broaden our students' thinking about how to safely and cleanly supply our nation with the energy that it needs.”