Jacobsen Middle School was one of six schools in Kern County fortunate enough to receive a hands-on learning experience about the science and technologies involved in the oil and natural gas industries, thanks to a generous sponsorship by the Occidental Petroleum Corporation.
More than 250 students at the middle school took part in the Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit, a $1.2 million traveling exhibit that educates students on the equipment, resources and scientific processes involved in energy production and development.
Other schools in Kern County that participated in the exhibit were South High School, Mt. View Middle School, Myrtle Avenue School, Richmond Elementary, and Pierce Elementary.
Students rotated through six kiosks, participating in interactive lessons about drill bits, oil distillation, seismology, sedimentation, and other topics involved in energy industries.
MOLU is an exhibit overseen by the Energy Partners Fund, a group based in the Central Coast that provides resources for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) based learning opportunities. The group has allocated more than $600,000 to schools and communities throughout the state.
The Energy Partners Fund has been generously supported by a number of energy companies, including Exxon Mobile, Halliburton, Devon Energy, Schlumberger, and the Marathon Oil Corporation.
"What is interesting is that it appeals to everyone," Manager of External Relations for Occidental of Elk Hills, Holly Arnold said, noting how engaging the exhibit was for all students involved.
"We wanted to bring this exhibit to areas where kids are not as exposed to the oil and gas industry," she said. "And there are fantastic jobs in the oil industry for people of all educational backgrounds."