The MOLU, or Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit, is a traveling exhibition run by the Oilfield Energy Center that teaches students in grades 5-8 about science, technology, and careers related to the oil and natural gas industry through hands-on, educational activities.
For the last two years, Cabot, Williams and Southwestern Energy sponsored the MOLU as it traveled to Pennsylvania and visited over 30 different schools across the northeastern part of the state. Due to its popularity, Cabot joined Williams, Southwestern Energy, Shell, and Schlumberger to help fund the creation of a new MOLU, called the MOLU III, to be permanently stationed in Pennsylvania and used in schools throughout the northeast. More recently, the MOLU III traveled to The Linsly School in West Virginia.
How It Works
The MOLU has six mobile units comprised of four stations each, adding up to 24 educational activities 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 to keep students engaged with what the MOLU had to offer after it has left their school.
Topics we explore, along with the standards covered during a MOLU visit
ACTIVITIES: Energy Lingo, Holland Personality Types, Historical Timeline, Engineering
STANDARDS: Abilities of Technological Design; Abilities Necessary to do Scientific Inquiry; History of Science; Science and Technology and Society; Science as a Human Endeavor; Understanding about Science and Technology
ACTIVITIES: Formation of Petroleum, Rock Sedimentation Tube, Porosity Turntable, Microslide Viewing
STANDARDS: Populations, Resources,and Environments; Structure and Function in Living Systems; Structure of the Earth System
ACTIVITIES: Seismic Studies, Stereoscopic Maps, Thermal Pad, Fluorescent Rocks
STANDARDS: Properties and Changes of Properties in Matter; Science and Technology and Society; Structure of the Earth System; Transfer of Energy; Understanding about Science and Technology
ACTIVITIES: Science of Drill Bits, Rock Core Samples, Explore for Oil, Drilling Methods
STANDARDS: Abilities of Technological Design; Risks and Benefits; Science and Technology and Society; Science as a Human Endeavor; Structure of the Earth System; Understanding about Science and Technology
ACTIVITIES: Distillation Process Puzzle: Cost Comparisons, Pass the Petroleum, Oil Products: Science and Technology and Society
STANDARDS: Abilities Necessary to do Scientific Inquiry; Properties and Changes of Properties in Matter; Science and Technology and Society; Science as a Human Endeavor; Understanding about Science and Technology
ACTIVITIES: Viscosity Tubes, Rigs and Platforms, Carbon Cycle, ROV Simulator
STANDARDS: Abilities of Technical Design; History of Science; Properties and Changes of Properties in Matter; Science and Technology and Society; Science as a Human Endeavor; Structure of the Earth System; Transfer of Energy: Understanding about Science and Technology
Using the MOLU, students learn about many topics related to the natural gas industry like geology, engineering, physics, chemistry, history, environmental studies, and more. Seeing how oil and natural gas are a part of products used in everyday life often surprises students, while the hands-on activities encourage interest and keep them engaged. The MOLU activities correlate with Next Generation National Science Standards and are based around the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) subjects. The activities illustrate concepts that are new to students – porosity, density, distillation, thermal energy – in a way that engages students in a tactile way.
The goal of the MOLU is to not only educate kids about the oil and natural gas industry but to encourage interest in STEM-related career fields as well. Stay tuned for more information about the MOLU in the future!
The MOLU III needs sponsorship!
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For more details about sponsorship, and how to get the MOLU to a school near you, please contact Oilfield Energy Center at 713-840-1753 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org