Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit turns Metairie Academy Students into Engineers


Metairie Academy students recently got a hands-on lesson in the technologies and sciences used to power our everyday lives. The school welcomed back the Mobile Oilfield Learning Unit (MOLU) for the second year in a row. Students were excited to see this traveling, interactive offshoot of the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum.

“The kids are elated.” said Metairie Academy teacher Conchetta Coleman. “They couldn’t wait. When they heard it was coming that’s all they could talk about.”

The MOLU contains six learning stations that include hands-on, curriculum-based science activities focused on the oil and gas industry. Each exercise is also based on state and national standards. To prepare for the visit, Metairie Academy fourth and fifth graders took a pretest and watched a video about the oil and gas industry. Students were surprised to learn about some of the everyday items that are made from oil, like t-shirts. They also enjoyed the interactive approach to these lessons.

“They learn about robotics, but to be able to touch it and maneuver things (is more impactful),” said Coleman. “They can actually see it.”

The MOLU travels to schools around the nation. In addition to Louisiana, some of its other stops include Florida, Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, and California. Each MOLU station includes four activites. Some of the lessons include safety, the engineering career, a closer look at microorganisms, seismology, robotics operation, measuring the ocean’s depth, examining core samples, and determining which products are made from oil. The MOLU visit to Metairie Academy was sponsored by FMC Corporation. Click through the photos below to see more from the students’ MOLU session. You can see all our photos by clicking here to visit our Flickr album.