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Essential Energy Educationissues, careers, classroom resources

Starting a Local Classroom Presentation Program

SPE’s Energy4me education outreach program provides ready-to-go resources for SPE members to quickly and easily prepare for a classroom visit. It’s easy to start a program for your section.

Make your Plan

  • Develop a plan and program goals (i.e., which schools to target, how you will let schools know you are available, how many presentations you would like to hold each year).
  • Include volunteer training in your plan to ensure all participants have the information and resources they need to give an inspiring talk.
  • Ensure that speakers know how to present material that is appropriate for their specific audience—for example, 10-year-olds won’t understand high school-level science!
  • Use Energy4me’s valuable educational resources to make sure your visit packs a punch!

Enlist Members

The easiest way to involve members is by encouraging them to speak in their own child or family member’s classroom. Many members are doing this already but aren’t familiar with Energy4me’s easy-to-use presentation resources.

Young professionals and student members are especially needed, since kids relate better to people closer to their own age. Classroom speaking opportunities give young members a chance to polish public-speaking and leadership skills while doing something good for the community.

Seek Opportunities

  • Contact a local school or administrative district to offer a classroom presentation.
  • Talk with your own children’s teachers about classroom speaking opportunities.
  • Look for opportunities to speak to teachers.
  • Let Energy4me  know the members who are willing to give classroom presentations in your area so we know who to contact when we get requests for classroom presenters.

Have Enough Energy4me Kits Available

All SPE sections were provided a complimentary Energy4me Kit in early 2009. Additional kits can be purchased for $30 (US) each, if desired. The Energy4me Kit offers teaching aids, speaker resources, sample presentations, classroom activities and hands-on experiments for teaching energy in the classroom in a fun, exciting way. Activities for every grade level are included.  Some sections and members also donate kits to the school when they give a presentation.

The boxed Energy4me Kit is only available in English. However, kit materials are available for free download in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

Create a “Magic Suitcase” of props to accompany the Energy4me Kit

  • Proppant
  • Cores/plugs (especially with a residual hydrocarbon odor)
  • Set well cement
  • Well casing sample
  • Frac fluid
  • Hydrocarbon sample kits
  • Fossils
  • Digital videos (animated or actual) that are oilfield related

Promote your Program

Let local schools know you are available to introduce students to engineering using a short presentation and fun activities. The goal is to support student interest in technology, science and math, and show how they apply to careers. You can customize this promotional flier  with your section’s unique energy education initiatives.

Other ways to Spread the Word about your Program

  • Let your local chamber of commerce know you are available. Chambers often keep a list of companies and organizations who can participate when they receive requests from schools for career day speakers, science fair judges, etc.
  • Encourage participants to volunteer at their own child’s school or at a school in their neighborhood.
  • Make an appointment to speak with your local school board, school administrator or principals.

Assign a Volunteer

When you receive a request for a guest speaker, contact your section’s volunteers to find out who is available to visit the school. It sometimes works well to send a team of volunteers. For example, a university student can add a perspective on university life that ties in to a professional member’s presentation. Another option is to have a more experienced member paired with a young member for training and mentoring.

  • Make sure your volunteer contacts Energy4me  more than two weeks before the presentation to request a free Oil and Natural Gas book for the teacher and order career brochures and Smart Energy Choices bookmarks for students (free for up to 100).
  • Remind volunteers of the Energy4me presentation resources available.
  • If you plan to take photos or videos that include minors, please use the Minor Photo Release form to obtain permission.

Celebrate Your Volunteers

Energy4me is a great opportunity for SPE members to celebrate volunteerism.  Whether your section collaborates with other societies or has an independent program, there is time and planning involved. Showcase the contribution your members are already making and bring greater recognition to members who have been contributing their time and talent though your section newsletter, website and at meetings.

Be sure to send Energy4me details, photos and videos of your section’s energy education activities. They will be considered for posting on to recognize your section while inspiring others to participate!