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ERIC Number: EJ1091131
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1089-9995
The Oil Game: Generating Enthusiasm for Geosciences in Urban Youth in Newark, NJ
Gates, Alexander E.; Kalczynski, Michael J.
Journal of Geoscience Education, v64 n1 p17-23 Feb 2016
A hands-on game based upon principles of oil accumulation and drilling was highly effective at generating enthusiasm toward the geosciences in urban youth from underrepresented minority groups in Newark, NJ. Participating 9th-grade high school students showed little interest in the geosciences prior to participating in the oil game, even if they had completed an Earth Science course. Benchmark surveys showed that only 9.7% of these students would consider a career in the geosciences prior to playing the game. The oil game teaches principles of fluid density, porosity and permeability, stratigraphy, seismic reflection profiling, and petroleum traps and shows practical applications in a problem-based learning format. The exercise is run like a game show, where groups of students earn money by best applying geologic principles. The streetwise participants in the study were 64% African American and 29% Hispanic/Latino American, faced inner-city dangers daily, and were generally difficult to motivate about the geosciences, according to teachers. It was evident from student excitement and engagement during the activity that they enjoyed the oil game immensely. Postgame surveys confirmed its positive impact, as 65.9% of the participating students indicated an interest in pursuing a career in the geosciences.
National Association of Geoscience Teachers. Carleton College W-SERC, One North College Street, Northfield, MN 55057. Tel: 540-568-6675; Fax: 540-568-8058; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Grade 9; Junior High Schools; Middle Schools; Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Jersey
Grant or Contract Numbers: OEDG0703673