IOGA-WV teaches future of energy education with science teacher workshop

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dozens of middle and high school science teachers from around the state got the opportunity to have a better understanding of energy education.

The Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia (IOGA-WV) wrapped up its Science Teacher Education Workshop on Tuesday after a two-day learning experience that featured hands-on learning with work stations and field trips out to oil and natural gas sites in the Kanawha Valley.

Michael McCown, the Communication and Education Chair for IOGA-WV, said one of the main focuses on this workshop is for the future of the children that the teachers educate.

“We want the teachers to get their students to be thinking about oil and gas as being a real viable industry and a future for them,” he said.

“When the time comes and they start thinking about career paths, whether as a welder or a geologist, there is still tremendous opportunity in our industry.”

IOGA-WV, in its second year for the teacher’s workshop, has once again partnered with the Ohio Oil & Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) for instruction.

Officials from OOGEEP and IOGA-WV worked with the teachers on Tuesday with hands-on stations with several themes including formation, migration and trapping, exploration, drilling and well stimulation, production, refining and processing, and products.

McCown said the teachers learn about horizontal drilling, pipeline construction, and permeability, and with those lessons, teachers are able to bring it back to the kids.

“They’ll have kits and the technology and wherewithal to go back and teach their students about that,” he said.

On Monday, the nearly 50 teachers went on trips to on-site projects such as Triana Energy to learn about drilling and natural gas production, and to TransCanada to better understand gas measurement and routing.

All participants in the workshop, at the Embassy Suites, received Graduate Professional Development Credits through Marshall University.

McCown said the two-day workshop is all about connecting science teachers to the energy industry in a way that will benefit everybody.

For more information on the workshop, visit

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