The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

November 22, 2013

Learning about state’s energy industry history

Heritage Center one of 9 in state to host student groups

ENID, Okla. — With help from an industry-funded state agency, the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center soon will become host to student groups learning about Oklahoma’s energy industry.

The Oklahoma Energy Resources Board has selected the center as one of nine museums in the state to partner with. It ties together with the agency’s curriculum they provide to schools.

“They have a lot of K-12 curriculum that they train teachers on every year,” said CSRHC Executive Director Andi Holland. “For classes that have incorporated part of their curriculum, they also provide for them to visit a museum.”

As part of the program, OERB pays for field trips to the museums and offers in-class lesson plans and teacher training. Each field trip includes free admittance for classroom teachers and students to the closes age-appropriate museum.

OERB also sponsors either a free energy class or exhibit at the center and pays for travel costs.

“This partnership will allow more students to attend the Heritage Center and learn more about northwest Oklahoma and the rich natural resources that impact our lives,” said Cody Jolliff, CSRHC education director.

Jolliff prepared a program called “Boom and Bust: Natural Resources in the Cherokee Strip.” It includes a living history presentation with staff outfitting themselves in historical clothing, videos, a hands-on participatory exercise and a guided tour of the museum.

Students also will receive a field book to record their experiences.

OERB’s educational program will take advantage of the museum’s existing exhibits on the early days of the oil and gas industry in western Oklahoma. In a statement announcing the program, Holland said the Dave Donaldson Oil and Gas Gallery is well equipped with interactive features, describing how the resources are found and how they’re brought to the surface.

“It’s a great little program. And all of it’s to educate and inform about our oil and gas industry, which is so important and prevalent in Oklahoma,” Holland said. “We’re thrilled about it and it’s a wonderful partnership.”

There haven’t been any classes that have visited yet through the new program. Holland said that OERB now is promoting it to schools, “So we are waiting to get our first call.”

OERB was created to promote the oil and gas industry to the public and assist with research activities, along with their statutory mandate to remediate historical oilfield environmental problems.

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