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Essential Energy Educationissues, careers, classroom resources

Join in the fun and help celebrate Engineers Week February 20-26!

Author: ; Published: Feb 17, 2011; Category: Classroom materials, Classroom presentations, Education outreach, Energy, Energy Education, Energy sources, Engineering Careers, Geology, Math, Science, SPE members, Technology, Uncategorized, Volunteering; Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ; Comments: Comments Off

Engineers Week Poster

Engineers Week Poster

Engineers Week is a global program that promotes math, science and technological literacy while encouraging students to consider a career in engineering by raising awareness of the positive contributions engineers make in today’s society. This year’s events will take place February 20-26, 2011, with additional events in March.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a sponsoring society of Engineers Week and hopes to attract bright young people to the exciting world of engineering. Many of SPE’s local sections use Energy4me to bring Engineers Week to their communities through activities such as:

  • Giving classroom presentations

Energy – Making Our Lives Easier (elementary)

Petroleum Engineers Make a World of Difference (intermediate/secondary)

Game – Petroleum Engineers Make a World of Difference (intermediate/secondary)

Energy’s Grand Challenges (educators/adults)

Energy Sources of the World  (educators, adults, intermediate and secondary)

  • Organizing student tours of interesting engineering achievements in the community
  • Sponsoring materials for a teacher workshop
  • Judging local Future City™ competitions
  • Offering art or essay contests for students on the importance of engineering
  • Purchasing Oil and Natural Gas books and Energy4me Kits to donate to schools
  • Holding “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” events
  • Hosting “Engineer for a Day” programs in which high school students shadow engineers for one day
  • Presenting annual engineering scholarships awards banquets
  • Teaming with other organizations in your community for an expanded outreach

Need ideas to get started? Check out the Engineers Week website for tips to jumpstart your Engineers Week celebration with special programs like “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day” and National Engineers Week Future City™ Competition.

Visit to learn more about engineering careers

SPE Pittsburgh Petroleum Section Participating in Engineers Week at Carnegie Science Center

Author: ; Published: Feb 10, 2011; Category: Education outreach, Energy, Energy Education, Engineering Careers, Environment, Geology, Math, Renewable energy, Science, SPE members, Technology, Uncategorized, Volunteering; Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ; Comments: Be the first

SPE Pittsburgh Engineers Week

Guest Author – By Donna Marcotte, SPE Pittsburgh Petroleum Section, Board Member

Student and professional members from the Pittsburgh Petroleum Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) will present demonstrations, exhibits, and hands-on activities at the Carnegie Science Center Engineers Week event on February 18 and 19.

SPE Pittsburgh has been participating in this event for more than 10 years and is a contributing sponsor this year.

The SPE booth will feature petroleum engineering students from Pennsylvania State University (PSU), the SPE student chapter affiliate of the Pittsburgh professional section. The PSU SPE members will engage Pittsburgh area students in various activities and exhibits, developed by the students and contributed by various SPE Pittsburgh members and companies.

Booth activities will include various materials, samples, experiments and games—with lots of prizes and give-ways. Professional SPE members from the greater Pittsburgh area will also be on hand to help students with the materials and answer questions.

Companies contributing to the success of this event include: Baker Hughes, Burnett Oil, Centric Performance, EKT Interactive, EQT, EXCO Resources, Range Resources, Schlumberger, and Superior Well Services.

This year’s co-chairs for the SPE Pittsburgh booth are area residents and SPE members, Melissa Ramirez, a petroleum engineer at EXCO Resources, Inc. and Bill Thomas, a consultant with Centric Performance, LLC and member of the Marcellus Resource Group.

“This industry offers so much opportunity for anyone interested in any kind of engineering or earth science, such as geology,” explains Ramirez, also a PSU graduate. “It’s a chance to contribute daily to solving the world’s energy problems.”

“We want to get the word out to area students, so they can get the right education and take advantage of these exciting career opportunities, which are now right in their own backyards,” states Thomas.

Petroleum Industry Full Circle in Pennsylvania

Many credit Titusville, Pa., just north of Pittsburgh, as the birthplace of the modern oil and gas industry, when in 1859 Edwin Drake drilled the first commercial oil well. Oil production in Pennsylvania peaked in the early 20th century, and oil and gas production has continued over the years without a lot of fanfare. Since 2005, however, the industry has seen resurgence in the area with exploration and development of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale, a vast geological formation that spans six states, including a large portion of Pennsylvania.

New technologies—developed and deployed by engineers from many different disciplines—have made extracting natural gas from shale technologically and economically feasible. Many experts believe that the Marcellus Shale will provide a huge natural gas source for Northeast U.S. markets and a vital boost to the local economy in increased tax revenue, business activity, and good-paying jobs.

About Engineers Week

The Engineers Week event at the Carnegie Science Center celebrates engineering achievements and provides an opportunity to reach out to students K-12th grade and introduce them to exciting careers in engineering.

For more information about the Carnegie Science Center Engineers Week event, visit their website at

For more information about Engineers Week, visit the National Engineers Week Foundation website at

About SPE

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) is a not-for-profit professional association whose members are engaged in energy resources development and production. SPE serves 88,000-plus members in 118 countries worldwide. SPE is a key resource for technical knowledge related to the oil and gas exploration and production industry and provides services through its publications, conferences, workshops, forums, and website. Learn more about SPE and its energy education program Energy4me.

With more than 700 professional and student members throughout Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Petroleum Section is one of the many affiliated sections and chapters of SPE International, which is headquartered in Richardson, Texas.

One of the primary roles of SPE and the local section is to raise and award scholarships for college students. This year, SPE Pittsburgh will award $15,000 in scholarships to area students. For more information about SPE Pittsburgh, visit

Why would students want to become an engineer?

Author: ; Published: Nov 19, 2010; Category: Energy, Energy Education, Engineering Careers, Environment, Geology, Math, Renewable energy, Science, Technology, Uncategorized; Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ; Comments: Be the first

Engineering Careers

Guest Author – Marva Morrow, Energy Education Consultant

As students are moving from the classroom to the real world, the biggest question is, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”  Becoming an engineer might be the right career for you if you want to have a career that’s exciting, flexible, and where you can really make a difference!

Did you know that engineering is one of the few fields where you can earn a good salary after only four years of college? In the US, engineers’ starting salary can range from USD 52,048 – USD 83,121 a year depending on which type of engineering field you pursue, according to the National Association of College and Employers (NACE) Engineering salaries have been higher than average salaries for the last 40 years and according to the US Department of Labor, engineers starting salaries are among the highest of all college graduates.

Top-Paid Majors for 2009-10 Bachelor’s Degree Graduates (Source: NACE)

Major Average Salary Offer
Petroleum Engineer USD 77,278
Chemical Engineer USD 64,889
Mining and Mineral Engineer USD 63,207
Computer Science USD 60,473
Computer Engineering USD 60,396

Engineers are well-paid globally, though salaries will vary depending on the country. For example, typical starting salaries for petroleum engineers in the UK range from £29,000 – £36,500, according to salary data collected August 2009 (USD 36,000-USD 49,000). The Society of Petroleum Engineers has just published its 2010 salary survey that shows salaries based on years of experience in different parts of the world.

Besides earning a great salary, engineers can choose to work in the field or in the office. In certain industries, some engineers travel around the world working from one site to another. Since science and technology are constantly advancing, there will always be new problems to solve making a career as an engineer always exciting! Engineers are constantly challenged to “think outside of the box” and to explore new possibilities, making our lives better.

Science and technology are the gateway to tomorrow and someone will be engineering it. WHY NOT YOU!

Learn more about engineering careers.

Tips for Teaching Energy

Author: ; Published: Sep 24, 2010; Category: Classroom materials, Classroom presentations, Education outreach, Energy, Energy Education, Energy sources, Engineering Careers, Environment, Math, Renewable energy, Science, Uncategorized; Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ; Comments: Be the first

Tips for Teaching Energy

Introducing energy topics in the classroom might seem like a daunting task to teachers especially when it comes to teaching energy sources. Teaching energy sources is a multi-faceted topic with global implications that can be fun and exciting with a little help from Energy4me and these useful tips!

Teachers can start their energy lessons by showing students the colorful and informative “Oil and Natural Gas” book, produced by the Society of Petroleum Engineers with DK Publishing. The book, which is free for teachers, puts a visual image with the scientific concepts being learned and shows kids how petroleum and natural gas shapes our world. Energy4me offers free downloadable lesson plans that correspond to the “Oil and Natural Gas” book.

Another great resource teachers can use is our Energy4me kit to help them in the classroom. The kit includes engaging classroom activities and hands-on experiments, ready-to-go classroom presentations, teaching aids, and speaker resources. Materials are tailored to students ages 5-18 and are also free to download.

After learning about different energy sources and their impact on their lives, students will want to learn more. Give them a well-rounded view on energy education and request a classroom speaker. Energy4me engages the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) professional members worldwide to help serve as classroom speakers.

Energy4me is a great free resource to help make learning about energy fun and exciting!

Educational materials are also available in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Italian, Russian, and Spanish.

Building Blocks of an Engineering Career

Author: ; Published: Sep 2, 2010; Category: Classroom presentations, Education outreach, Engineering Careers, Math, Science; Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ; Comments: Be the first

Building Blocks of an Engineering Career

Guest Author – Marva Morrow, Energy Education Consultant

What is your response when a child or student says “I like to build…” or “I want to build (blank) when I grow up?” Would your first reaction be to tell the child about engineering? The fact is, many people don’t connect engineering to these kinds of teachable moments. It’s a lost opportunity to introduce even small children to a rewarding career.

Here’s a way you can respond: Engineers are trail blazers! They do exciting things like design and create buildings, bridges, and low carbon cities. Engineers are people who solve problems and make things work.

There are over 200 types of engineering! This has lead to some confusion among students. Just like sports can be grouped into areas like football, baseball, soccer, tennis, golf, etc., the different types of engineering can be grouped into specializations: chemical, civil, electrical, engineering management, engineering sciences, geotechnical, mechanical, petroleum, and many others.

Engineers use innovation and creative ideas. Then they apply the principals of science and math to develop solutions to problems. Engineers make and maintain things with a practical purpose. Many engineers develop new products. During the process, they consider several factors. For example, in developing an industrial robot, engineers specify the functional requirements precisely; design and test the robot’s components; integrate the components to produce the final design; and evaluate the design’s overall effectiveness, cost, reliability, and safety. This process applies to the development of many different products, such as chemicals, computers, power plants, helicopters, and toys.

Become an engineer and love your work, live your life, be creative, work with great people, solve problems, design things that matter, never be bored, make a big salary, enjoy job flexibility, travel, make a difference and change the world!

Learn more about engineering careers!