Joseph Piro, Education Week
In education circles, STEM—the teaching of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—has been gathering, for want of a better descriptor, “alpha” status. Not only has President Barack Obama announced a $250 million public-private initiative to recruit and train more STEM teachers, but also the U.S. Department of Education’s Race to the Top Fund grants competition is giving bonus points for applications that stress STEM instruction.
This funding is on top of the nearly $700 million the federal government already spends on science and math education programs within the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies. Factor in what’s earmarked by individual states for STEM and a picture emerges of where a lot of tax money is rightfully going.
This generous support is being allocated in the belief (or fear) that the United States is becoming less competitive and secure, that we are losing our global-leader status in STEM fields and being eclipsed by other countries, mostly in Asia.
Yet, in the midst of all the STEM frenzy, we may want to do something riskier, and more imaginative, to save the country: turn STEM funding into STEAM funding. Inserting the letter A, for the arts, into the acronym could afford us even greater global advantage.
Many may be puzzled by this statement, considering that the arts have held a traditionally marginalized place in both American society and the school curriculum. And, in the eyes of some, support for the arts has a dubious payback, especially in areas of national concern such as defense, homeland security, and technology. The arts are something we do when we stop being serious. Friday afternoons spent drawing turkeys, pumpkins, and valentines in more classrooms than one might think can attest to this.
But just consider the following. A 2008 study from the National Endowment for the Arts, “Artists in the Workforce,” showed that individuals involved in the arts represent a sizable branch of the labor force, only slightly smaller than the total number of active-duty and reserve personnel in the U.S. military. What may also be surprising to some is that artists make up a larger occupational group than lawyers, medical doctors, or agricultural workers. The size of the artistic community gives it an astonishing $70 billion aggregate annual income. The country’s $316 billion communication and entertainment business employs a diverse range of artists, including musicians, actors, filmmakers, videographers, and architects. It is probably safe to say that most of these people prepared for their careers by participating in some sort of arts education program…
Joseph Piro is an associate professor of curriculum and instruction in the school of education at Long Island University’s C.W. Post campus, in Brookville, N.Y.
Teachers, what do you think?
Author: Guest Author; Published: Aug 8, 2011; Category: Classroom materials, Classroom presentations, Education outreach, Energy, Energy Conservation, Energy Education, Energy sources, Environment, Geology, Math, Renewable energy, Science; Tags: Children, Classroom Instruction, Education, Energy, energy challenges, Energy Conservation, Energy4me, Lesson Plans, Math, natural gas, Petroleum, Renewable, School, science, Student, sustainability, Teacher; Comments: Be the first
Guest Author – Mary Spruill, Executive Director, National Energy Education Development Project (NEED)
Energy4Me materials developed in partnership with NEED are a huge hit and will be used by NEED’s trainers throughout the 2011-2012 school year.
Throughout the year, The NEED Project (www.need.org) and Energy4me, the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) energy education program, work together on many energy education activities including the Teacher and Student Workshop at the Offshore Technology Conference and the Teacher and Student Workshop at SPE’s ATCE. Each summer though, NEED’s energy programs get bigger and faster paced with so many kids and teachers to reach in only a few short weeks. This June and July were no exception with over 550 kids and teachers in Washington, D.C. to participate in the 31st Annual NEED Youth Awards for Energy Achievement. This event recognizes school groups who commit to learning about energy and to sharing their knowledge with their peers, their teachers and their communities. Students submit portfolios of their energy programming in April for review at the state and national level, and the winning schools come spend 4 days in the Nation’s Capital sharing their energy work, touring our monuments and museums, and meeting with elected and appointed officials.
On a sleepy Sunday morning during the conference – the kids are up early and working on hands-on activities featuring the lessons provided by Energy4Me and some lessons that NEED and Energy4Me created together. The students are learning about porosity and permeability, and the work needed to bring oil and natural gas to market. They learn about transportation efficiency too and consider ways to make the vehicles of tomorrow and their own driving habits more efficient too. The activities from Energy4Me are engaging, fun, and provide students with the background they need to really understand the oil and natural gas resources we use each day. They leave with big smiles, new friends, and new activities to take home to their communities and share.
As soon as the Youth Awards wraps up, NEED’s training team heads out to the NEED National Energy Conference for Educators. This year’s conference in Denver, Colorado hosted 150 educators from across the country and from Thailand and the Saipan. For a week, the educators were like students at summer camp – learning about each other and about energy so they could return to their classrooms and teach energy with excitement and fun. The Energy4Me activities and the presentation resources allow students and teachers alike to look more deeply into oil and natural gas development and use. This year’s opening speaker was Don McClure, Vice President for Community Relations, Legal and Finance at EnCana, one of America’s largest natural gas producers. Don’s extensive background in energy provided teachers with a look at how diverse the industry is, the number of jobs available for all types of students, and the challenges and opportunities that abound in developing natural gas in America. In the days that followed, teachers learned about density, drilling technologies, properties of oil and natural gas and are prepared to take the lessons home and open up the oil and natural gas world to their students.
But that’s not all. After Denver, the team packed up and traveled to La Quinta, California for NEED’s Facilitator Training Conference. This conference is hosted every few years and brings together teachers, NEED’s training staff, and energy professionals from many companies and agencies to sharpen their facilitation skills, to train on new content and new materials, and to learn how to deliver energy curriculum and training to teachers in NEED’s 600+ energy trainings each year. This year’s group of 40 trainers rolled up their sleeves and researched and presented about America’s leading energy sources, they debated the advantages and disadvantages of the energy sources we use today, and they developed methods to share energy information with teachers and students nationwide. The It is a busy (but fun!) summer and together with SPE, NEED is reaching thousands of teachers and students each year. As America’s teachers head back to school this month, let’s take a minute to thank them and to encourage them to teach about energy as often as possible in class!
For the 2011-2012 NEED curriculum guides or to register for a NEED workshop near you visit www.need.org!
Author: Guest 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: Careers, Children, Education, Energy, Energy Conservation, Engineering, Engineering Careers, eWeek, Geology, Geothermal, Math, natural gas, oil, Petroleum, School, SPE, Student, Technology, Volunteer; Comments: Be the first
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 http://www.carnegiesciencecenter.org/default.aspx?pageId=363.
For more information about Engineers Week, visit the National Engineers Week Foundation website at www.eweek.org.
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 http://spepgh.weebly.com/.
Author: Guest Author; Published: Nov 19, 2010; Category: Energy, Energy Education, Engineering Careers, Environment, Geology, Math, Renewable energy, Science, Technology, Uncategorized; Tags: Careers, Earth science, Education, Energy, energy challenges, Energy Conservation, Engineering, Geology, Geothermal, Math, Petroleum, School, science, Student, Technology; Comments: Be the first
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.
Author: Guest Author; Published: Sep 2, 2010; Category: Classroom presentations, Education outreach, Engineering Careers, Math, Science; Tags: Careers, Children, Education, Engineering, Engineering Careers, Math, Parent, STEM, Student, Teacher, Volunteer; Comments: Be the first
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!