The Linsly School was pleased to be the first school in the state of West Virginia to host the Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit, also known as the MOLU. The visit to Linsly, sponsored by Cabot, is part of an effort to introduce the MOLU III to schools in the northeast.
The MOLU is a traveling exhibition run by the Oilfield Energy Center (OEC) that teaches students about science, technology, and other topics related to the oil and natural gas industry. During the visit, Linsly students from grades 5-8 walked through the hands-on, educational activities of the MOLU to learn about these topics.
“We are always looking for ways to expose our students to relevant, real-world experiences. The MOLU presents students with STEM-related activities on a topic that many of them know about (gas & oil) from living in the tri-state area,” explained Maggie Allison, Middle School Dean for The Linsly School. “It’s very exciting that Linsly Middle School is the first in WV to ‘try out’ this unit.”
While walking through the MOLU, students learn about geology, engineering, physics, chemistry, history, environmental studies, and more. The MOLU also shows students how oil and natural gas are a part of products in their everyday lives while hands-on activities keep them interested and engaged. The MOLU activities correlate with Next Generation National Science Standards and are based around the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects.
Justin Zimmerman, Headmaster of The Linsly School, expressed his appreciation for the MOLU visit.
“We are grateful to the Oilfield Energy Center and to the energy companies who have helped to make this fantastic learning opportunity possible,” said Zimmerman.
Recognizing the value that the MOLU adds to the curriculum, he said, “Our teachers strive to make interdisciplinary connections for our students, and to have a chance to help students learn about many topics related to the natural gas industry like geology, engineering, physics, chemistry, history, environmental studies, and more, is tremendously valuable and important. It’s experiences like this that might help a student discover a new interest or passion.”
Donna Wheeler, MOLU Manager from the Oilfield Energy Center, explains their mission for educational outreach, “The Oilfield Energy Center is dedicated to expanding awareness of the vast oil and natural gas energy resources beneath the earth’s surface, supporting global stewardship in the communities that develop these resources, and to chronicle the technical accomplishments of the industries that discover, produces, and delivers energy in a safe and environmentally responsible way.” She adds that “The purpose of the MOLU is to educate and inform because there are so many misconceptions about the oil and natural gas industry.”
George Stark, Director of External Affairs for Cabot Oil & Gas commented,
“The MOLU really hits the best of all worlds with its hands on educational components to showcase what the oil and gas industry can provide as tools for students.”
He further explained, “With a focus on STEM-related topics, we hope that the MOLU can help to encourage interest in future careers in these industries. As a member of the Wheeling community and father of a Linsly student, I can really appreciate the excitement that is coming to campus as the value of the MOLU is recognized.”
The MOLU’s six mobile units are comprised of four stations each, making 24 educational activities available for students. Students travel around in pairs, spending a few minutes at each station learning, filling out accompanying worksheets, and exploring the hands-on materials – like a robotic arm and a microscope. Each session is around 90 minutes long, with pre- and post- visit materials provided.
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