Claremore Daily Progress

August 12, 2013

Claremore teachers begin school with free supplies

Staff Reports
Claremore Progress


Fifteen Claremore-area teachers recently attended a teacher-training workshop hosted by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, and walked away with hundreds of dollars in free classroom supplies.
Now, they are encouraging other Oklahoma teachers to sign up for the free program. 
OERB workshops instruct teachers how to use one of the OERB’s eight energy and science curricula in their classrooms. The curricula provide teachers from kindergarten through 12th grade hands-on science lessons to educate their students about the oil and natural gas industry. The high school curricula also incorporate Language Arts and Social Studies.
The teachers who attended from Claremore are: Denita Hancock, Kellie Hibbard, Jennifer Kilpatrick, Mary Girty, Emily Irby, Jennifer Bates, Debbie Bonham, Lisa Johnston, Kim Rhine, Elizabeth Wilhite, Shannon Poynot, Jennifer Melton, Karen Lyons, Sarah Woods, and Chris Rader, who teaches in Foyil.
“We wanted to provide Oklahoma teachers with a program that engages their students, while also meeting state curricula standards,” said OERB Education Director Carla Schaeperkoetter. “We used oil and natural gas industry professionals and teamed them up with teachers to write the lessons. This way we know the lessons are not only well designed, but really engage the students in a meaningful way.”
OERB workshops are free of charge, and train teachers in how to appropriately use the curricula in their classrooms. Upon completion of the workshop, teachers go home with a free box of supplies, worth up to $700, a teacher’s guide and are mailed a $50 stipend for attending. Teachers who complete a curriculum also receive a free field trip for their classroom.
“The field trip is a really exciting benefit for the teachers,” said Schaeperkoetter. “Many times they tell us that this is the only field trip their kids get all year. Otherwise they wouldn’t have the resources to take them.”
The OERB is in its 17th year offering these free workshops. The hands-on curricula reach students at all ages and grade levels. The OERB provides the Little Bits program for early childhood education, Fossils to Fuel and Fossils to Fuel 2 program for elementary students, a Petro Active program for middle school students and CORE Energy for high school students. Each curriculum uses lab experiments, reading assignments, games and more. 
Bates teaches 5th grade at Justus-Tiawah Public School. She attended to become trained to teach Fossils to Fuel in her classroom.
“This workshop will provide an excellent supplement to our science curriculum and is relevant to our students because of our state’s oil and gas industry,” she said.
Hancock teaches Kindergarten at Justus-Tiawah. She was trained in the Little Bits program, and is excited about what it will do for her students. 
“It will make them aware of all the things that come from petroleum,” she said. “It will also keep them safe from the potential dangers of oilfield equipment.”
For more information on OERB’s education programs, or to sign up for a workshop, visit and click on the “For Educators” tab. 
The OERB was created in 1993 by the Oklahoma Legislature and is funded through a voluntary one tenth of 1 percent assessment on oil and natural gas producers and royalty owners.  
The agency’s purpose is to conduct environmental restoration of abandoned well sites and to educate Oklahomans about the importance of the petroleum industry.