Energy Industry Recruits Elementary Students
by: Laurie Johnson, March 31, 2008 5:03:00 pm
The Mobile Offshore Learning Units are a $1.2 million traveling exhibit. They're interactive with hands-on activities geared toward fifth-graders.
Amber Meuth runs the program for the Offshore Energy Center. She says they're hoping to get more kids interested in math and science.
"We're hoping they they get some kind of hands-on experience with some of the curriculum that they learn in the fifth-grade. The sedimentation, porosity, viscosity, different things that they already learn."
Arlinda Rexho and Ngoc Le are both fifth-graders at Ed White Elementary in Southwest Houston. The energy exhibit is set up in a hallway in their school. They spent the morning exploring the various modules.
"We've been learning about oils and the robotics arm and stuff and like how they move and the wheels."
[Reporter]"What's been, I guess, the most interesting part?"
"The robotic arm. Yeah, the robotics. Because it's like tools that are fun to use and to control it and to tell them how and what to move."
You could hear the girls get more excited as they talked about the different elements of the exhibit.
Since the energy sector drives Houston's economy, it's no wonder this mobile education exhibit is funded by members of the industry.
Devon Energy, Dominion Exploration, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Marathon Oil, and Schlumberger all fund the pilot program. The non-profit Offshore Energy Center is looking for more sponsors to continue the mobile exhibit in the next school year.
Laurie Johnson. Houston Public Radio News.