Local teachers attend workshop

THREE TEACHERS who reside in Belmont County recently advanced their knowledge of Ohio’s energy resources in preparation for the new school year.

They accomplished this during a two-day Science Teacher Workshop held at Marietta College which was attended by teachers throughout Ohio. The workshop, which included classroom, hands-on activities and a field trip, was sponsored by the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP).

The teachers who attended the workshop from Belmont County were: St. John Central Grade School science teacher Marianne Clark from Bellaire; St. Mary’s Central Grade School science and health teacher Mary Hendershot from St. Clairsville; and locally based special education teacher Sandra Rice from Bethesda.

The workshop’s goal was to advocate energy education by connecting science education and Ohio’s oil and gas industry. There was no cost for the teachers to attend, and they earned Continuing Education Units (CEU) and an optional graduate credit for their participation.

Clark, Hendershot, Rice and the other Ohio teachers studied an energy education curriculum based on six units: formation; migration; exploration; drilling and production; refining; and products. Each unit also featured an industry speaker, science experiment labs and a wide variety of internet applications and tools.

On the second day, the teachers moved out of the classroom for a field trip to learn the various phases of exploring, drilling and producing Ohio crude oil and natural gas. They had a rare opportunity to tour an actual drilling rig (Warren Drilling), and were able to go on location to visit two actively producing crude oil and natural gas wells (Alliance Petroleum Corporation). The group also visited a natural gas compressor station (Dominion East Ohio) and a crude oil hauler (Ohio Oil Gathering Corporation).

Hendershot described the workshop as “a greatly informative two days,” and added, “I will use all of this information in my classrooms and share it with any other interested teachers.”

Rice said she is glad she can share the science experiment information with her students.

OOGEEP Executive Director Rhonda Reda said, “The goal of these workshops is to help Ohio teachers, students and schools meet their state and national science standards. In addition, we also provide information about career and scholarship opportunities available in Ohio.”

The recent workshop at Marietta College also had the added value of being held at one of our nation’s oldest and most renowned petroleum engineering colleges in the country.”

OOGEEP is a non-profit statewide education and public outreach program voluntarily funded by Ohio’s crude oil and natural gas industry, and does not utilize any taxpayer dollars.

For more information about OOGEEP’s educational and other public outreach programs, contact Rhonda Reda, Executive Director, at (740) 587-0410, rredaoogeep.org, or Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program, P.O. Box 187, Granville, OH 43023.