Teachers Learn More About Oil Industry - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Teachers Learn More About Oil Industry

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We report on North Dakota's booming energy industry just about every day.

Many people may get confused by the ins and outs of drilling for oil...

But one group of people is eager to dive below the surface.

"We're kind of in the middle of this developing oil field business," says Jeri Braunagel, Math Teacher, Dickinson High School.

Jeri Braunagel grew up in Western North Dakota and has lived in Dickinson for the past 15 years.

"It has affected our community," says Braunagel.

As a math teacher, Mrs. Braunagel says the oil activity in the area has multiplied.

But even being submersed in the ripple of oil rigs...she wants to learn more.

She along with more than 40 teachers across the state are attending the annual Teacher Education Seminar...

They become students on the boom shaking up North Dakota.

"There's definitely a lot of oil field facts that I did not know about the oil business," says Braunagel.

"The teachers that are attending this will be able to see everything from the geology, the actual drilling production all the way through to the refining and to the reclamation so in four days they'll see a 40 year industry as it unfolds across North Dakota," says Kent Ellis, Energy Careers Coordinator.

This seminar allows teachers to drill deeper into the information about the oil industry in our state and then take back what they've learned and share it with their students.

"Some of our students are looking for job opportunities and not everyone needs a college degree so this should give me more information to point some of those students that don't like writing papers and doing statistics that there are other options out there," says Timothy Cruff, Science Teacher, Fargo Shanley High School.

"Being able to show them how different fields have jobs in the oil field like the communication majors, I never dreamt that there was work out there for them in the oil field and there is. So being able to go back and tell the kids about what they might be able to do with their areas of interest will be good," says Braunagel.

Ellis says each year after the seminar, teachers leave with the wow factor.

"It just opens up a lot of good discussions and dispels some myths and it opens up a lot of questions and possibilities for the future," says Ellis.

And equips teachers with the knowledge to educate future industry leaders.

"It's just a great conference to come to and everybody should try it," says Braunagel.

The North Dakota Petroleum Council has been hosting the Teacher Education Seminar for more than 30 years.

It runs today through Thursday.

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