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Oklahoma Energy Resources Board bolsters education with industry lessons

The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board has provided more than 12,000 state teachers with lessons and equipment to teach their students about the oil and natural gas industry.
BY JAY F. MARKS Published: June 28, 2013

The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board and its master teachers aren't taking the summer off.

They're working hard to make the board's education curriculum fit with the state's common core standards.

Education is one of the industry group's two core missions, along with its commitment to clean up abandoned well sites around the state.

OERB, which offered its first education program in 1996, has shared its curriculum with more than 12,000 teachers, education director Carla Schaeperkoetter said. The board has provided materials to about 95 percent of the state's school districts.

“Now we have eight programs. We host workshops for teachers around the state,” she said. “We provide the teachers everything they need to teach the curriculum in their classroom. We give them all the materials.

“We give them the curriculum guide and we go through it with them with our master teachers.”

Latta High School teacher Susie Edens said OERB's curriculum gives teachers a variety of practical lessons to share with their students.

Edens, who is one of OERB's master teachers, started out as a field tester for the board's early high school curriculum. She said her students had a great time with it.

OERB's classes focus on physical science and chemistry, she said, with some life science as well in the bioremediation program.

“It is very Oklahoma related, so we can actually see some of the issues and the problems in the industry, but it certainly ties directly into the curriculum we are teaching in our classes,” Edens said.

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