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Teach Me And I Will Do It: SPE Volunteer Takes Energy Education to School Students in Accra

Edgar Dale, an American educator once said “We tend to remember 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see, 50% of what we see and hear, 70% of what we say, and 90% of what we say and do.”

It was against this background that the SPE Ghana Section led by its chairman Ato Aidoo facilitated a school classroom practical session focused on the extractive industry, particularly the oil and gas industry, at the Association International School, located at the airport residential area in Accra, Ghana. He conducted a presentation simulating the real life field experience of oil and gas professionals, and capped it with a sedimentation experiment involving the students. This was held as part of the school’s annual extractive industries week celebration.

What is SPE, where does oil come from and how is it deposited in its present form, what are the different types of energy available, and how do fossil fuels play an important role in our lives? These are some of the pertinent questions Aidoo, a well engineering consultant, sought to answer in the few hours he spent with the students and teachers of the school. The students aged 10 years and above, from the elementary and secondary section of the school, proved to be intelligent and were eager to participate and learn through hands-on experiments of the drilling and completion process.

Aidoo explained what kerogen is and its formation process. He then went on to show an animated presentation of the drilling process from exploration to production and eventually abandonment.

The highlight of the day was students taking part in the sedimentation experiment, and teaching them how the basic rock, and by extension the earth, is layered and how energy is produced from them. 

Aidoo was impressed with the quality of questions asked by the students following the presentations, demonstrating their renewed interest in the engineering and energy topics. A student said “My entire views about the energy and engineering industries have changed and I will definitely start a conversation with my parents on my future career.”

Aidoo’s key takeaway from the day was that such energy education initiatives should be spread across aggressively, especially on the back of the renewed calls for sustainability and energy transition.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of the Secondary Division Head of the Association International School, Suzanne Nti, the SPE Ghana Section will be following up with more Energy4me sessions at the school in the near future.

James Allotey-Okai is a member of the TWA Editorial Committee.

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