Gas Drilling and Other Energy Industries Showcased at Campus Event
DuBois – Penn State DuBois offered members of the community a glimpse inside Marcellus Shale drilling and other energy industries by hosting a mobile energy exhibit on campus recently. The Drake Well Museum’s Mobile Energy Education and Training Unit (MEET-U) made a stop at the campus, where it was open to the public, local school districts, as well as Penn State DuBois students, faculty, and staff.
The 44 foot long rolling exhibit is based at the Drake Well Museum in Titusville, PA, but travels throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, reaching more than 50,000 people a year. Housed primarily in a modified tractor-trailer, the MEET-U features hands-on activities such as videos, artifacts, and interactive experiments designed to educate participants about various forms of energy including oil, gas, coal, wind, and solar. MEET-U employees and volunteers were also on hand to offer demonstrations and answer questions.
With Marcellus Shale on the minds of many in central Pennsylvania at this time, much of the exhibit is dedicated to gas drilling education. Fortunately for Ben Shaffer, a senior at DuBois Area High School, that's just was he was looking for.
"It seems like a good opportunity for jobs in this area," Shaffer said of the Marcellus Shale industry. "I'm interested in these jobs, and they offer good pay."
Shaffer said the MEET-U did, in fact, answer many of his questions, and even added to his excitement about a career in energy. He said, "I've seen things like the kind of tests they do, and how drilling is done. I'm even more interested now that I've learned more about it."
Area teachers agreed that the exhibit had much to offer students setting out on their career path. DuBois Central Catholic environmental science teacher Donna Chollock said, "Our students are finding this exciting. This might be an historic time for our area, as it was 100 years ago when coal was king."
Joe Hulsizer, the director of the MEET-U said that while the exhibit offers a great deal on Marcellus Shale education, other types of energy are prominently featured as well.
"There are all types of energy, and you don't want to put all of your eggs in one basket," Hulsizer said. "We want to inform people on all types of energy. We offer energy education in all forms, and have people from multiple industries that can answer questions and give advice."
Hulsizer said that education includes working with landowners and people with environmental concerns to harvest energy sources in the most environmentally friendly way as possible.
The MEET-U's visit to the campus was co-sponsored by the Penn State DuBois Engineering Club and Continuing Education at Penn State DuBois. Additional funding for this program was provided by the North Central Workforce Investment Board’s Youth Council and Regional Career Education Partnership.
"The Marcellus Shale and other energy industries are becoming very important in north central Pennsylvania. It is imperative to introduce youth and educators to this rapidly growing industry, new to our region," said Continuing Education Representative Jeannine Hanes.