Two Altus teachers recently attended a teacher-training workshop hosted in Yukon by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, and walked away with hundreds of dollars in free classroom supplies. Now, they are encouraging other Oklahoma teachers to sign up for the free program that offers exciting benefits.
OERB workshops instruct teachers how to use one of the OERB’s eight energy and science curricula in their classrooms. The curricula provide teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade hands-on lessons to educate their students about the oil and natural gas industry. The high school curricula also incorporate Language Arts and Social Studies.
The teachers from Altus who attended the workshop are Amanda Roberson and Kelly Childers (Washington Elementary).
“We wanted to provide Oklahoma teachers with a program that engages their students, while also meeting State Academic Standards,” said OERB Education Director Carla Schaeperkoetter. “We used oil and natural gas industry professionals and teamed them up with teachers to write the lessons. This way we know the lessons are not only well designed, but really engage the students in a meaningful way.”
OERB workshops are free of charge, and train teachers in how to appropriately use the curricula in their classrooms. Upon completion of the workshop, teachers go home with a free box of supplies, worth up to $1,100, a teacher’s guide and are mailed a $50 stipend for attending. Teachers who complete a curriculum also receive a free field trip for their classroom, and six hours of professional development credits.
“The field trip is a really exciting benefit for the teachers,” said Schaeperkoetter. “Many times they tell us that this is the only field trip their kids get all year. Otherwise they wouldn’t have the resources to take them.”
The OERB is in its 19th year offering these free workshops. The hands-on curricula reach students at all ages and grade levels. The OERB provides the Little Bits program for early childhood education, Fossils to Fuel and Fossils to Fuel 2 program for elementary students, a Petro Active program for middle school students and CORE Energy for high school students, which offers a Language Arts, Social Studies or Science curriculum. Each curriculum uses lab experiments, reading assignments, games and more.
Amanda Roberson teaches 3rd grade at Washington Elementary. She attended the workshop to learn how to implement the Fossils to Fuel curriculum in her classroom.
“The curriculum has so many hands-on activities that help make energy a relevant topic of discussion for younger children.”
Kelly Childers teaches 4th grade at Washington, and said she would recommend the OERB workshop to other teachers.
“Oil and natural gas are such a vital industry in Oklahoma,” she said. “Our students will benefit from these lessons.”
For more information on OERB’s education programs, or to sign up for a workshop, visit www.oerb.com and click on the “For Educators” tab.