Energy Day Featured in BSEE Article

Energy Day was featured in a US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) article.

By Bill Lee, BSEE Public Affairs Specialist

Where can one go on a non-school day and find: a robotics exhibition, a condensation experiment, a virtual reality demonstration, a controlled mini-tornado, a solar energy panel, and a mock oil drilling game, all in the same place? How about near downtown Houston, Texas?
Houston’s Sam Houston Park was buzzing, literally, on Saturday, October 15 as participants in the sixth annual Houston Energy Day enjoyed a wide array of informative exhibits, challenging games and interactive demonstrations involving science and technology. Students from local area schools, families and teachers alike delighted in visiting the nearly 70 various participating organizations and their exhibit booths. The participants got to solve mathematical equations, engage in scientific experiments, compete in stimulating games and challenges, and learn about new innovations in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). One activity from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) simulated drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.
BSEE’s participation in Energy Day helps fulfills one of its public service and outreach goals within the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Youth Engagement Initiative. This program was introduced by President Obama and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to involve children in learning and play opportunities while also teaching them about service, the working world and future careers. To this end, BSEE’s exhibit allowed kids to have fun while learning about one of the fundamental energy industries in America – oil and gas and how it is found. This was a great opportunity for kids to gain knowledge of a potentially dangerous and risky endeavor, but in a safe controlled environment.
BSEE Public Affairs staffed the interactive display featuring its ever-popular tabletop “drilling for oil game” and allowed students and visitors to the booth to learn about the basic process of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Using common household items (cat litter, shoe polish), students were able to experience, albeit on a much smaller scale, how oil rigs explore for oil. The kids were asked to slowly “drill” down (using labeled sticks) into the “water” and if they came back up with “oil” on them, they won prizes. Of course, many of them declared themselves as millionaires! But candy, toys and school supplies would have to do.