The Malampaya Oil and Gas exhibit recently went on tour, opening in selected public elementary schools throughout Metro Manila and in Batangas. Although launched back in 2003, the exhibit’s latest tour is part of the Shell Comprehensive School Programme—Shell’s advocacy campaign with the Department of Education (DepEd) and Marylindbert International, Inc., to integrate energy consciousness and energy responsibility into the public school curriculum. Making the rounds through the public school circuit is, in a special way, gifting young students who would otherwise not have ready access to the wealth of information the exhibit provides on Malampaya, and the science behind it.

Eleven-year old Ron Martin Robles hopes to be a medical nurse one day. An eloquent 5th grader at Timoteo Paez Elementary School in Pasay City, he took in the sights and sounds of the Oil and Gas Exhibit when it opened at his school in February. “I learned a lot about sedimentary rocks and how oil and gas are formed,” says Ron Martin.

In addition to an open forum where an expert scientist or engineer speaks to the student body and takes questions from the audience, the exhibit features novel ways of teaching students about Malampaya’s deep water gas-to-power project, like an interactive game and video documentary. The multimedia treat engages young minds in a non-traditional way that encourages learning. According to Ron Martin, “I really liked it a lot. It was very educational.”

At Jacinto Zamora Elementary school, perhaps the biggest public school in Pandacan, Manila, and another tour stop for the exhibit, 1st grader Francesca Agustin tells of what she learned. “Ngayon alam ko na kung paano ginagawa yung natural gas, at galing siya sa ilalim ng dagat (“Now I know how natural gas is made, and it comes from under the sea”), she says. Other schools included in the recent tour were Makati Elementary School, Padre Gomez Elementary School, Padre Valerio Malabanan Elementary School, Claro M. Recto Elementary School, Batangas City East Central Elementary School, and Tabangao Elementary School, also in Batangas.

Since it began touring seven years ago, the exhibit has been to over 85 locations in and outside Metro Manila. It has opened in schools, government offices, and in other public venues, telling the Malampaya story, spreading the word on clean energy, and teaching invaluable lessons in the process. The Oil & Gas exhibit is a project of the Malampaya consortium- Department of Energy, Shell Philippines Exploration B.V., Chevron Malampaya LLC and the Philippine National Oil Company- Exploration Corporation.

Back in his school, Ron Martin reflects on the bigger picture the exhibit paints. “Energy from natural gas is clean energy, and it doesn’t hurt our ozone layer like coal energy does,” he says. “I think it’s a great idea. I think more people should use it.” And that is an insight that both children and adults can learn from. [SPEX Communications]

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