WSJE students connect with resources industry

Published 12:08 am Wednesday, September 30, 2015

EDGARD — Angela Farnell, a sixth and seventh grade science and social studies teacher, has won numerous grants, established a new club and got a mobile lab to come to West St. John Elementary School.

“Mrs. Farnell is a strong teacher,” Windi Tierney said. “She is in constant communication with the team of teachers she works with in order to help her students grow.”

Tierney is the technology teacher and teaches fourth and fifth grades at West St. John Elementary.

Farnell recently established a STEM club, which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, to help middle school students learn about science and engineering.

“It engages students and equips them with critical thinking, problem solving, creative and collaborative skills and ultimately establishes connections between the school, work place, community and the global economy,” Farnell said. “STEM also helps students understand and apply math and science content, the foundations for success in college and careers. Presently, the members are building various missions with legos, programming an EV3 robot to complete various missions and identifying a problem we have with trash and creating a creative solution to that problem in preparation for the First Lego League Competition in November. ”

Farnell has received numerous grants she uses to help her students at West St. John Elementary.

“The first grant I received was from Nalco, which centered on youths and education,” Farnell said.

“The grants are for programs that promote youth development, particularly for at-risk youth. I used the funds to purchase my EV3 robot kit, sponsor club field trips and competitions that we will compete in.

“Another grant was from Schlumberger. This grant was geared towards helping fund a Robotics team. The last grant I received was from First Lego League to assist teams with competition registration fees and field sets, as well as the purchase of the EV3 robot kit.”

Farnell helped bring an Offshore Energy Center mobile lab to the school Monday that got the school’s fifth, sixth and seventh graders engaged.

According to it website, the Offshore Energy Center expands students’ awareness of energy resources beneath the world’s oceans and the technological accomplishments of the industry that discover, produce and deliver these resources in an environmentally responsible way.

“The lab ties in what the students will learn in the semesters to come,” Farnell said. “They will be able to identify natural resources and why they are important. They will be able to identify energy types from their source to their use and determine if the energy types are renewable, nonrenewable or inexhaustible. In addition, they will be able to explain how the use of different energy resources affects the environment and the economy. Last but not least, it is a fulfillment of college and career readiness.”

Students circulated through the lab’s stations Monday to learn about different careers in the energy field, the sedimentary process, seismology, oilrigs and the process of distillation, Tierney said.

This is the first time a mobile lab like this visited the school.

“It is our hope that the children gain knowledge of the oil and energy industry as well as the use of natural resources,” Tierney said. “It will also help create a link between college and career readiness.”

— By Raquel Derganz Baker