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American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Oil, also called petroleum, is a naturally occurring liquid formed from dead marine microorganisms. It is usually black or dark brown in color, but can vary from yellow to greenish. It is an organic substance and consists of several hydrocarbons (compounds made of hydrogen and carbon). It is...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Since 1970, oil and natural gas have provided more than half of the energy used each year in the United States to produce electricity, heat, transportation fuels, and many everyday products from balloons to vitamins. Oil and natural gas are forms of petroleum, a word that literally means "oily...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (SEED), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

What adventures await you as a student of the Earth sciences? How about a career as a scientist or engineer working for the world’s largest oilfield services company? Schlumberger employees invent, design, engineer, and apply technologies to help customers find and produce oil and gas more...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

In this activity, students create a working model of an oil pump. Artificial lifting systems, or pumping units, are used to help pull oil out of reservoir rock and pump it up a well. A down hole pump in the well is connected to the pumping unit by steel rods, which are screwed together. The pump...

Grade Level: 6, 7, 8
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

This activity will help you to understand some of the factors that petroleum geologists need to consider when deciding where to recommend drilling for oil. Since people use petroleum products for energy and as source materials for petrochemicals, it is important as citizen scientists to...

Grade Level: 9, 10, 11, 12
Geological Society of America (GSA), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

Petroleum geologists study Earth’s rock layers, looking for places where oil-generating rocks might occur. These geoscientists try to determine whether geologic structures trap the oil in reservoirs which can be drilled and pumped to recover the oil. One such type of trap occurs when rocks have...

Grade Level: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)
Resource Type: Classroom Activities

What factors affect how easily a fluid can move through sediments? How is this flow rate connected to oil production? Many people think that oil lies in big pools below Earth’s surface. Oil actually is located in the pores within rocks (called “source rocks”). When the pores are connected, oil...

Grade Level: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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Brooks Coal Mine, Colorado, circa 1905
Classroom Activities
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

In this activity, students will explore their creativity and critical thinking while they imagine a cave environment and create an organism that lives in their cave. Their cave will be one of the types mentioned in the preceding pages, but their organisms will be of their own imagination.

Cave in Carlsbad Caverns
Classroom Activities
National Park Service (NPS), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

Caves form through a variety of natural processes depending on their local geology and climate. Flowing lava, melting ice, dissolving rock, and crashing waves are the major processes that form these wondrous environments. In this activity, students will observe a model of how the most common...

Cacti in the Sonoran Desert
Classroom Activities
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

In this activity, students study natural features of Mesa Verde and make conclusions about how early inhabitants settled there.

Mauna Ulu on the east rift of Kilauea. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
Classroom Activities
Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

Traditional geologic maps — sometimes crisscrossed with lines, blotted with colors, and marked with strike and dip symbols — have been used to depict the geologic makeup of the Earth for many years. New technologies such as satellite-enabled remote sensing are allowing geoscientists to create...

Topaz Sample
Classroom Activities
Association of American State Geologists (AASG), Earth Science Week (ESW), American Geosciences Institute (AGI)

With this activity from the Association of American State Geologists, students can use local geologic maps to research types of rock in their area.

About the Education Resources Network

The Education Resources Network aggregates geoscience education resources from a variety of providers. The goal is to provide visitors with the widest possible collection of curricula, classroom activities, teacher professional development opportunities, science education standards, virtual field trips, teaching ancillaries and much more.

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