Off shore oil drilling lesson comes to Lee County school

Author: Megan Contreras
Published: Updated:

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla.,- Just years after millions of gallons of oil spewed in the Gulf of Mexico, Lee County elementary students are getting a first hand lesson in offshore drilling. The Deepwater Horizon Disaster brought the debate of offshore drilling to the forefront. Today, some of the country’s biggest oil companies sponsored an exhibit promoting drilling deep on the ocean floor. WINK News found out if the exhibit is trying to sell the idea of drilling to young children.

“It’s a win/win situation all the way around, we were excited to invite them here,” said Principal of Harns Marsh Elementary Marsha Bur.

They are the names of oil giants you’ve heard before, names such as Chevron, Shell and Conoco-Phillips. These major oil companies are funding a traveling exhibit that gives students an in depth look into off shore drilling.

“To introduce it to students at such a young age is a plus for us,” said Educational Specialist Sylvia Jones.

The hands on exhibit is geared to get students thinking at a young age about different career opportunities, while at the same time exposing students to more science.

“It’s just something relevant to our kids, they’ve heard it, they know what it is, and it does have amazing career opportunities,” said Bur.

WINK News spoke to a Marine and Ecological Sciences Professor from FGCU over the phone about teaching off shore drilling in the classroom

“The truth is it’s complicated when we need oil,” said Win Everham.

Professor Win Everham says this lesson is potentially a good thing, he agrees students need to be introduced to complicated environmental issues.

“We are always concerned about there being balanced approaches and sometimes there is concerns if there materials are developed from a particular economic interest, but that doesn’t mean they are not, I haven’t seen the materials.”

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