Charleston, W.Va. – The Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGAWV) hosted its inaugural Science Teacher Education Workshop this week, which was attended by more than 40 science teachers from across the state.
The goal of the workshop, held Wednesday, June 20, at the Embassy Suites, was to help foster STEM and energy education by connecting science teachers to the energy industry.
“I am incredibly happy this event came to fruition this year,” Jeff Isner, CEO of Pillar Energy and an IOGAWV member instrumental in the planning and execution of the workshop, said. “I have been passionate about getting this program off the ground, and I’m looking forward to watching it grow in the years to come.”
A welcome reception and dinner was held for teachers Tuesday, June 19, at The Clay Center, and the workshop began Wednesday morning (June 20), where educators participated in a variety of STEM-related activities.
The workshop is modeled after the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP), which hosts teacher workshops throughout the year in Ohio, as well as other educational and public outreach events.
“I’m so excited to see IOGAWV launch this education program in West Virginia,” Rhonda Reda, executive director of OOGEEP, said. “It’s important for teachers to engage their students about STEM, and these workshops help incorporate energy-related lessons and activities in their classrooms.”
The workshop consisted of seven learning stations, related curriculum and hands-on STEM activities regarding the natural gas and crude oil industry. These stations included everything from the formation of these biotic materials to the creation of more than 6,000 petrochemical products used every day.
In addition to the workshop, an industry panel provided the opportunity for teachers to interact with local oil and gas industry professionals. Panel participants included:
- Jeff Isner, moderator
- Tim Neill, Antero Resources
- Zachary Evans, TransCanada
- Holly Evans, TransCanada
- Pete Sullivan, Greylock Energy
The event closed with a Q&A session, and each teacher received an IOGAWV material kit with supplies to conduct experiments learned during the seminar with their students in the upcoming school year.
“This turned out to be a wonderful event, and we know teachers walked away with valuable tools and information for their students,” Mike McCown, communications and education chair for IOGAWV’s board of directors, said. “I’d like to thank everyone who made this possible, including IOGAWV, OOGEEP, our panelists and generous sponsors, and especially our great West Virginia teachers.”
Sponsors of the workshop included Antero Resources; BrickStreet Insurance; Civil and Environmental Consultants, Inc.; TransCanada; EnerVest; and Marc Monteleone, president of the IOGAWV board of directors.