Sweet explorations: teaching with Twinkies

Math teacher Jeff Puskar and Language Arts teacher June Baker work on an instructional team at Boardman Center Middle School. They found the OOGEEP teacher workshop very helpful. Puskar said, “June and I have already encouraged many of our colleagues to take advantage of what the OOGEEP workshops have to offer. This workshop was truly one of the best we’ve taken.”

Puskar and Baker introduced the issue of oil and natural gas drilling and the variety of products created using these materials. They used videos available online to give students a basic overview. The goal of the lesson was to compare and contrast the differences between vertical and horizontal drilling processes.

Following the Sweet Exploration lesson provided at the workshop, students used straws to “drill” Twinkies and extract the cream (oil). Students measured the amount of cream using grid paper and recognized that more cream is extracted horizontally than vertically. We discussed how vertical drilling does greater harm to the landscape than horizontal.

Puskar said, “Students thoroughly enjoyed the activities.  The workshop emphasized the importance of using a variety of resources and hands-on activities which is significant to maintaining student attention and interest.”