UH Energy and IPAA/PESA Partnership Promotes A New Generation of Energy Leaders

By Janet Miranda

group of high school students
The partnership between UH Energy and the high school academies supported by the Independent Petroleum Association of America/Petroleum Equipment & Services Association (IPAA/PESA) promotes STEM careers and engages the future technical workforce. Its initiatives range from the Oil & Gas Career Conference to the Technology Challenge, helping high school students learn the basics of the energy industry.

Over 650 freshman and sophomore high school students from IPAA/ PESA Energy Education Center Petroleum Academies participated in the one-day Oil & Gas Career Conference organized by IPPA/PESA and hosted on the UH campus Oct 23.

The students had the chance to learn first-hand about the oil and gas value chain and STEM careers including business, engineering, landman and computer science from employees of leading energy companies, including ExxonMobil, Lowry Rhoads Associates, Occidental Petroleum, Oceaneering, Schlumberger, Shell and TechnipFMC.

The next generation of energy professionals had a chance to connect what they are learning in the classroom to real-world challenges in the energy industry, setting them up for success down the line.

“This educational conference offers high school students the unique opportunity to learn about important careers in the oil and gas industry,” said Barry Russell, president and CEO of IPAA. “Through experiences such as this Career Conference, we have the ability to inspire the next generation of talented energy professionals who will drive this industry forward.”

The Oil & Gas Career Conference presents students with an opportunity to visualize their career prospects in high school and hit the ground running once they start their college career.

The goal for both the Oil & Gas Career Conference and the Technology Challenge, which was held on the UH campus Oct. 12, is to provide students with knowledge while engaging them with hands-on experiences.

Junior and senior high school students from the four Houston high schools which offer IPAA/PESA Energy Center Petroleum Academies competed in the first annual UH Energy Technology Challenge, racing remote controlled electric cars across the field of TDECU Stadium, powered by piezoelectric technology developed by NASA.

The students learned about piezoelectric materials’ ability to generate electric charge in response to applied mechanical stress, using the concept to harness energy.

The collaboration between UH Energy and IPAA/PESA provides high school students with the skills and knowledge they will need to succeed in high school, college and into the energy industry.

UH Energy and IPAA/PESA will continue to work together to prepare and inspire the next generation. Future initiatives include a second Career Conference for juniors and seniors, as well as more hands on experiences such as the Technology Challenge.