The historic Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City — site of the society’s popular 2007 Energy Education Conference & Field Trip.

The American Oil & Gas Historical Society hosts unique gatherings of energy education professionals — including state and national teacher workshop practitioners, petroleum museums directors, associations and oil and natural gas company representatives.

The May 31 to June 2, 2007,  Energy Education Conference & Field Trip in Oklahoma City brought together leading education experts. The Golden Driller statue in Tulsa was among the stops of a concluding field trip that followed panel discussions, classroom demonstrations, receptions and an awards banquet.

2007 Conference participants included:

American Geological Institute
American Petroleum Institute
Anadarko Basin Museum of Natural History, Elk City, Okla.
Association of Desk and Derrick Clubs, Oklahoma City Chapter
Association of Energy Service Companies
Derricks to Desks, Western States Petroleum Assoc., Bakersfield, Calif.
Drake Well Museum, Titusville, Pa.
Drumright Historical Museum, Okla.
East Texas Oil Museum, Kilgore, Texas
Energy Days, Bartlesville, Okla.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
Foundation for Energy Education, Texas
Geophysical Society of Houston
Houston Museum of Natural Science, Wiess Energy Hall, Houston
Illinois Petroleum Resources Board
Independent Petroleum Association of America
Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission
Kansas Oil & Gas Resources Board
Kansas Oil Museum, El Dorado
Minerals Management Service
National Association of Royalty Owners, Oklahoma City Chapter
National Energy Education Development
Offshore Energy Center, Houston, Texas
Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program
Oil & Gas Museum, Parkersburg, W. Va.
Oil 150 Steering Committee
Oklahoma City Association of Petroleum Landmen
Oklahoma Energy Resources Board
Oklahoma Geological Survey
Oklahoma Oil Museum, Seminole
Petroleum History Institute
Petroleum Museum, Midland, Texas
Petroleum Technology Transfer Council
Society of Exploration Geophysicists Geoscience Center, Tulsa
Society of Petroleum Engineers
Total Planète Energies, France
University of Tulsa
University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center

Participants visited  the Devon Energy Oil and Gas Park prior to a banquet at the Oklahoam History Center. The evening featured the historical society’s presentation of  its Oil Patch Preservationist Award to Mr. Lew O. Ward, Chairman, Ward Petroleum Corp., Enid, Okla.

2006 Energy Education Conference & Field Trip in Wichita, Kansas

Energy educators

Public education programs of the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board (OERB) have set the standard for other state programs — and sharing outreach strategies will bring even greater results, according expert panelists at the opening session of the American Oil & Gas Historical Society’s program of the April 20-23 Oil History Symposium in Wichita and El Dorado, Kansas.

Established in 1993, OERB represents the first state oil and natural gas check off program, and lessons learned in Oklahoma offer opportunities for other public education programs, noted Gayla Wright, OERB Core Energy Program Coordinator. Agreeing with her April 20 assessment were energy education panelists from Kansas, Ohio, Texas and Washington, DC. The symposium was a joint conference of AOGHS and the Oil City, Pa.-based Petroleum History Institute.

OERB continues to make tremendous strides in improving the industry’s image and reestablishing credibility with the public, said Ed Cross, executive director of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association (KIOGA). KIOGA’s own effort for increasing energy education has resulted in Gov. Kathleen Sebelius recently signing a bill creating the Kansas Petroleum Education and Marketing Act. The legislation establishes the Kansas Oil and Gas Resources Board to coordinate public education regarding the industry.

Other successful education strategies came from Rhonda Reda, executive director, Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP), established in 1998. Reda described variations of Ohio’s “energy farmers” education approach, teacher workshops, science fairs — and the popular “Oilfield Emergency Response Program” with Ohio firefighters. Symposium panelists included Pat French, president of the newly established Foundation for Energy Education, Houston; and Rebecca Dobbins, senior associate, American Petroleum Institute, Washington, DC. The Texas energy education effort was initiated by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers last year, according to French.

On April 22, API’s Dobbins explained the focus of her “Classroom Energy” program, a K-8 curriculum that includes “Energy and Society,” created with Project Learning Tree (PLT) to improve students’ retention of energy-related lessons. The interactive (and fun) PLT approach was later demonstrated by Al Stenstrup, PLT director of curriculum programs, during the “Museum Education Strategies” program at the Kansas Oil Museum.

Symposium attendees were from across the country, including Houston, Midland and Wichita Falls, Texas; Parkersburg, W. Va.; Meadville and Oil City, Pa.; Denver, Colo.; and Farmington, N.M. “I thank all of these experts for coming to Kansas to support the society’s mission on behalf of oilfield history education,” said AOGHS Executive Director Bruce Wells. “As one attendee noted, our industry often bemoans the public’s poor understanding of what is necessary to meet the ever increasing demand for energy. The speakers, education events and fieldtrips were most welcomed efforts in addressing this important subject.”

Symposium activities included a tour of Frontier Oil Refinery in El Dorado and a visit to the site of the historic Oil Hill community. The education program sought ways to increase awareness among teachers, students and their parents about the links between energy and their daily lives. An April 22 program included discussion of the 1935-2005 history of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) by Associate Executive Director Gerry Baker.

Kansas Oil Museum Director Deborah Amend said inclusion of her museum in the symposium program was “an opportunity for individuals from across the United States to learn about a portion of history they may not be familiar with. That is one thing the symposium does; it brings historians together; it brings people from the industry; it brings educators; it brings the press; it brings those who truly want to give information to the public about the oil industry.”