HOUSTON – The Offshore Energy Center (OEC) recently received a grant from the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) to fund the Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit (MOLU) visits to five Houston area schools during the Offshore Technology Conference, April 30–May 4. The schools include McNeil in Richmond; the Village School, Thompson Elementary and Klentzman Intermediate School in Houston; and Pin Oak Middle School in Bellaire.
The MOLU is a traveling exhibit that features six, self-contained, kiosk-style learning centers. They feature curriculum-based, hands-on activities about energy, and the technologies and sciences involved with the oil and natural gas industry. The MOLU is particularly geared to 5th grade students, since science, including energy, is a focus area for that school year’s STAAR (State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness) test. However, the MOLU is also appropriate for other age groups. Curriculum for each of the 24 activities in the MOLU is based on national and Texas state standards.
The unit is transported via truck/trailer for set-up and exhibition in school gymnasiums or other common areas. Up to 192 students can participate per MOLU exhibition day, with 48 students rotating through the exhibit every two hours. Students receive a “MOLU Pass” with questions that correlate to the activities on all 24 stations within the six centers. Teachers can later review students’ answers to these questions. Pre- and post-visit materials accompany the units to enhance the experience. In addition to the MOLU, the Center’s educational program also includes traveling classroom exhibits called the Playing with Petroleum Kit (grades K-5) and the Knowledge Box (grades 6-12).
“It is quite an honor for our MOLU program to receive this grant from the OTC,” said Sandra Mourton, OEC’s executive director. “It adds even more credibility to our already successful and popular learning tool.”
“The OTC board is excited to sponsor this outstanding educational program,” said Steve Balint, chairman, OTC. “The Offshore Energy Center’s outreach program is a natural extension of the Energy Education Institute for teachers and students that occurs every year during OTC. Any way we can extend the reach to students and teachers only enriches our industry’s future.”