Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit brings oil and gas industry to CFISD

October 30, 2014

Andre’ Elementary School fifth-grade students Kassandra Gonzalez and Jonathan Barrera make thermal handprints during the Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit (MOLU) visit to the school on Oct. 27, courtesy of the Offshore Energy Center (OEC)’s Education Outreach Program.

Oct. 30, 2014—Fifth-grade students throughout the district are learning more about the ever-growing oil and gas industry through a Chevron grant and the Offshore Energy Center (OEC)’s Education Outreach Program, which is bringing the Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit (MOLU) to 28 CFISD elementary schools in 2014-2015.

The MOLU is a traveling exhibit that features six self-contained learning centers, each offering four curriculum-based, hands-on activities about energy and the technologies and sciences involved with the oil and natural gas industry. The curriculum for each of the 24 activities is based on national and Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) state standards.

Other materials coinciding with the OEC’s visit are:

  • pre- and post-visit tests with answer keys;
  • a career interest profile form;
  • a 15-minute “The Offshore Story” video produced by the OEC; and
  • a 16-minute “Fuel-Less” video produced by the American Petroleum Institute.

MOLU’s first CFISD school visit was to Andre’ Elementary School on Monday, following by a Tuesday visit to Keith Elementary School and a Wednesday stop at Kirk Elementary School. MOLU visited Willbern Elementary School on Oct. 30 and will finish the week at Post Elementary School on Oct. 31.

“The children are gaining a wonderful understanding of the oil industry that many of them will likely work in one day. We really are trying to help our children see all the different careers that are out there and possible for them,” said Marilyn Fredell, Andre’ principal. “In the oil industry you have the gamut—positions that require advanced degrees to positions that require high school degrees along with some apprenticeship. This program is interactive and engaging and helps them to start thinking about that industry.”

Donna Wheeler, MOLU manager for the OEC, confirmed future visits to Lowery (Nov. 18), Bang (Nov. 20), M.Robinson (Nov. 21), Farney (Dec. 18) and Wilson (Jan. 29) elementary schools, as well as to-be-scheduled dates with Adam, Birkes, Danish and Jowell elementary schools.

“This our first big push with CFISD, and we’re excited to be reaching so many students in such a large district,” said Wheeler, of the program that launched in 2008. “I love working with the kids because they really get into the activities. This is a pivotal point in their lives when they can start thinking about their future. Engineers and other careers in the oil and gas industry have never been in higher demand, and this will help them consider whether it’s something they want to pursue in a career.”


Andre’ fifth-grade students Abel Rodriguez, Joseph Turcios and Harold Perkins use the MOLU curriculum to learn about the oil and gas industry. The MOLU paid visits to five CFISD elementary schools this week.


Andre’ teacher Artisha Holmes explains one of the MOLU questions to fifth-grade student Roslynn Mauricio on Oct. 27.


Willbern Elementary School students Carter Mountain and Amy Duong use 3-D glasses to observe one of the MOLU activities on Oct. 30.


Willbern student Alissa Nong looks through a microscope at slides during the MOLU visit on Oct. 30.


Willbern student Ranya Khanoyan uses a robotic arm to pick up foam balls during a MOLU rotation on Oct. 30.


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