HISD students gaining exposure to global offshore technology industry during OTC

The Offshore Technology Conference is likely the biggest event in Houston the week of May 2-6, 2016, and about 83 HISD students will be there. The OTC draws experts from around the world to come together to exchange ideas and advance scientific and technical knowledge regarding offshore technology. Last year, more than 94,700 people attended the conference.

Students enrolled in Petroleum Academies at HISD’s Energy Institute and Westside High School are attending the OTC (see details below). The IPAA/PESA Energy Education Center has established these academies at four HISD high schools with the goal of making math and science more meaningful and relevant, as well as address the projected loss of 50 percent of engineering and geosciences professionals due to aging. Milby High School and Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy have Petroleum Academies as well.

“The students are looking forward to interacting with industry professionals from around the world,” Energy Institute STEM Coordinator René Flores said. “They are also reinforcing those crucial 21st skills necessary to become an HISD global graduate – professional behavior, team work and collaboration, and communication and presentation skills.”

Students were nominated by their teachers and administrative leadership team for their academic performance and professional behavior. Here are more details about HISD students at the OTC:

May 3: BSEE Tech Challenge Winners 

The eight Westside High School winners of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement Challenge at University of Houston (see link here) have been invited to accept their award at the BSEE press conference, which takes place from 2:00–2:50 p.m. on Tues., May 3, in rooms 406-407, level 2, NRG Center. The winning students are Borham Amin, Darian Arasteh, Issam Bernawi, Nicolas Gutierrez, Francisco Llano, Daniel Lutz, Xander Ly, and Thomas Nassab. They won for their use of cutting-edge technology in designing an energy circuit, modifying a helicopter, and developing a flight plan to maximize their score.

May 4: OTC Field Trip

Fifty ninth-graders from the Energy Institute have been invited by BP to attend, and they will get a first-hand tour of the BP suite, a technology presentation, and a tour of the OTC exhibit hall featuring the latest equipment and technology in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. The tour begins at 10:30 a.m. at the NRG Center. In 2013-14 and 2014-15, 200 and 250 ninth-graders respectively went to OTC to hear from top energy executives and tour the conference.

May 5: Energy Education Institute

Twenty-five 10th- and 11th-graders from Energy Institute will be at OTC’s Energy Education Institute from 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m. at NRG Center, courtesy of ExxonMobil. They will attend a free, one-day energy education workshop, and their teachers will receive comprehensive information about the scientific concepts of energy and its importance while discovering the world of oil and natural gas exploration and production. Student activities include a keynote speaker, tour of the world’s leading offshore oil and natural gas technology exhibitions, and hands-on classroom activities all correlated to the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills science standards. For more information, see this link.

May 5: OTC Luncheon

In a first-of-its-kind event, 10 Energy Institute 10th- and 11th-graders will make formal presentations on energy topics and ideas to OTC executives at the OTC luncheon. This is a prestigious event usually reserved only for presentations of top energy concepts from around the world that have been vetted and screened. The luncheon presentations were selected by members of the OTC Board, who visited Energy to work with students on the development of their ideas and projects.

STEM across HISD

HISD places a high priority on STEM education and has a variety of STEM programs across the district. Furr High School has a Petroleum Engineering Technology Futures Academy, and Booker T. Washington students are building a rocket and planning to go to White Sands, New Mexico, this summer to launch it, as they did last summer (see story here). Chavez High School engineering students are working with NASA to send an experiment to the International Space Station, and Austin High School is on track to become the premiere maritime high school training academy in the nation.

For a complete list of STEM schools, see www.houstonisd.org/stem. In addition to these schools, HISD has STEM pathways at the following high schools: Austin, Bellaire, Eastwood, Houston Academy for International Studies, Lamar, Madison, Sam Houston, Westbury, and Wheatley.

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