Straws and “pigs” promote hands-on learning

Lindsey Fawcett has high praise for the OOGEEP teachers’ workshop she attended. “I loved the lessons and new content I learned, and the hands-on field trips were invaluable to my content knowledge. Passionate, knowledgeable teachers are able to better motivate their students.” Fawcett teaches environmental science at Lakewood Local High School in Hebron, Ohio. Her goal was for students to see the complete process of oil and natural gas use. “I wanted students to have a better understanding of all the steps required to obtained and refine fossil fuels as well as the importance of these materials for our society.  Additionally, I wanted them to see different careers opportunities in this growing field and how this industry is building Ohio’s economy,” said Fawcett.

She used the materials and curriculum from the workshop to give her students a panoramic understanding of oil and natural gas, from formation to exploration to producing/refining and petrochemistry. Among other activities, students used plastic drinking straws to determine the best design for a derrick to support the stress and weight of drilling and planned and created “pigs” to deal with problems within pipelines.

Fawcett said the students really liked these activities and the hands-on component increased their comprehension. She would recommend the OOGEEP workshop to other teachers. She said, “I felt like I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about the oil and natural gas industry in general.  It helped me gain knowledge and convey that knowledge in unique ways to my students."