Appalachian Basin

Anti-Fracking Activists Prevent Science from Being Taught in Schools

Following a campaign of feigned outrage by anti-oil-and-gas activists, Radio Disney announced it would no longer partner with the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP) on a program that tried to get school children interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  The one hour program titled “Rocking in Ohio” made over 26 stops, educating Ohio children on the importance of STEM in their daily lives — a program needed badly in our schools today.

The campaign began when Lisa Hoyos — a 20-year professional campaigner from San Francisco, who is also the founder of Climate Parents — caught wind of the program and began circulating a petition to other individuals who never saw the program asking Disney to halt the partnership with OOGEEP.  One of the reason’s why Ms. Hoyos said the program should cease is because wasn’t “kid safe and climate safe.”

As the founder of Climate Parents, Ms. Hoyos should know that clean burning natural gas is the reason why CO2 emissions are the lowest that have been since the 1994, and the fact that 23 percent less carbon dioxide was emitted into the atmosphere last year thanks to affordable natural gas supplies.

To make matters even worse, it seems Ms. Hoyos and her merry band of activists are advocating that science should not be taught in schools since it contains subjects to which they object.

The misplaced outrage of over 80,000 individuals who signed the online petition – many of whom were not even from the United States, much less Ohio – over the issue of “fracking” was evidenced by a crucial fact: hydraulic fracturing was never discussed in the program.  The program was purely a science-driven event and the curriculum was developed by science teachers across Ohio, based on state and national science standards.

The curriculum included activities that had kids put together a puzzle consisting of the different layers of the earth, learn how sound waves can travel between formations to create geological maps, and a pipeline game using physics, mathematics and engineering to move a ball from one end to the other. How outrageous!

The program also informed the children of how often we use oil and gas in our daily lives.  Did you know over 6,000 products are refined by natural gas and crude oil, or the fact that energy doesn’t just come from the light switch? This kind of information is important to everyone, especially school children who typically use the most electricity in their household with computers, video games, and other electronics. The program also provided information on ways that everyone can conserve energy.

For people who incessantly say that we need to trust ‘the science,’ it’s odd that those same people now want to prevent children from actually learning it.

Getting kids excited in STEM education is extremely important because the United States actually ranks 52nd in the quality of mathematics and science education, according the World Economic Forum.  Even worse, the United States is ranked 5th in overall global competitiveness, and over two-thirds of the engineers who receive Ph.Ds from our universities are from other countries.

Taking these educational opportunities away from the children is truly a disservice to our youth.  If these activists want green energy to be the path of our future, what better way to make that a reality than by getting children excited by STEM programs?

It is truly short-sighted and ironic that groups are using social media and other electronic means to petition and protest an energy educational program — with their smart phones, electronic devices and computers that all use energy to operate and are made in part from oil and natural gas.


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