2011 Rio Grande Valley Science Association Annual Conference

The Fall 2011 Rio Grande Valley Science Association Conference was attended by over 500 teachers from across the Rio Grande Valley, October 7-8, 2011, at PSJA (Pharr-San Juan-Alamo) North High School in Pharr, Texas. STORE provided the opening speaker and several workshops for the conference, highlighting energy sources and challenges, as well as carbon sequestration.

Dr. Jon Olson of STORE spoke at the RGVSA Conference on Friday evening.Dr. Jon E. Olson of STORE was the featured speaker for the Friday night (October 7, 7pm) opening of the conference at PSJA North High School. His presentation, Energy Sources and Energy Challenges, reviewed this country’s energy usage and what role it plays in our way of life. There was some light-hearted quizzing to assess the audience’s energy IQ. Fossil fuels and alternatives were compared. Technologies for climate mitigation, namely carbon sequestration and the use of CO2 in enhanced oil recovery methods were also presented. The latest headline in the news, hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, was briefly discussed in the context of its impact on water resources and the potential for earthquakes. Finally, the opportunity for energy careers in petroleum and geosystems engineering was discussed. The lecture was free and open to the general public.

Dr. Olson's presentation.

Two different workshops were presented by STORE on Saturday morning (October 8th, 11am and 1pm) for teachers:

What to do with CO2?
Dr. Hilary Olson, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin 
Description: Where does the energy you use for food, light, air conditioning, travel and fun come from? More than 90% comes from burning fossil fuel. What can be done to minimize the carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere as we look forward to the world's energy needs for the future. In this inquiry-based activity we explore options to reducing our carbon footprint. Link to online classroom curriculum aligned to TEKS provided at workshop. Appropriate/Adaptable for: Elementary, Middle, High School levels.

Click here for activity information and links

Where are fluids stored in the Earth?
Dr. Jon Olson, Dept. of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin Description: Fluids such as hydrocarbons and water are stored underground in the Earth, but where? This inquiry-based lab activity explores sedimentary rock properties such as porosity and permeability, that make it possible for us to both use resources such as water, oil and natural gas, and also inject and store CO2 underground to mitigate greenhouse gas buildup in the atmosphere. Appropriate/Adaptable for: Elementary, Middle, High School levels.

Click Here for activity information and links

Photos from the event:

2011 Rio Grande Valley Science Association Annual Conference2011 Rio Grande Valley Science Association Annual Conference

2011 Rio Grande Valley Science Association Annual Conference2011 Rio Grande Valley Science Association Annual Conference

2011 Rio Grande Valley Science Association Annual Conference