Resources about Oil for High School Students?
March 30, 2009 7:29 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone recommend some good resources (articles, books, DVDs, websites) about oil that are appropriate for a secondary school curriculum?

These can be from any perspective (technical, economic, historical, etc) and resources with some bias are welcome, as I always want to sharpen students' critical thinking skills. With resources become obsolete so quickly, I need some pointers on where to look for contemporary perspectives! Thanks!
posted by lily_bart to Education (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Energy Information Administration - Check out the consumer brochures.
posted by mandapanda at 8:22 AM on March 30, 2009

posted by malevolent at 9:42 AM on March 30, 2009

Twilight in the Desert is a good book to read about Peak Oil.
posted by arcticseal at 12:54 PM on March 30, 2009

The Offshore Engery Center.

Disclaimer: I don't work for them, but I do their computer support. And I've seen a ton of educational materials in their offices while I've been doing it. Far more than is on the website. You're going to get a pro-industry bias, of course, but if you're interested in what they have I'm sure all you need to do is contact them and ask.
posted by Cyrano at 7:05 PM on March 30, 2009

Best answer: This is a huge topic. It would be helpful to know which class you teach? has a lot of videos, some of old stuff and some more timely.

The Paleontological Research Institution has some good, if basic, information... from hydrocarbon systems to tools, to geological information, to finding main drill locations.

The American Petroleum Institute has a page with facts about gasoline, diesel, and heating oil (and natural gas and emerging technologies).

Rigzone gives news information.

Someone's personal website has links by state and country to historical oil sites... might be fun for a field trip to learn about one near you, and then visit it.

OPEC provides multimedia of their meetings, and other information for a more about the politics of oil.

For another historical and political view of oil, American Experience (PBS) had a show about the Rockefellers, and the website has additional information, interviews, polls, and a game.

Nightly Business Report (again PBS) had a show called Extreme Oil. It's excellent. They have resources, and resources for teachers, on the website.

That might give you a start if you are looking for history, current events, overviews, and a little geology. But it leaves out quite a bit: Computer science, engineering, chemicals, refining, drilling, trading, health and environmental incidents and concerns, etc. If you told us the class, you might get more focused answers from me or someone else?
posted by Houstonian at 7:34 PM on March 30, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks all! These are a great starting point.

Houstonian, we do team teaching, so ideally I am looking to coordinate my social studies section with literature and culture.
posted by lily_bart at 5:30 PM on March 31, 2009

These are wikipedia links to a few topics you might not have thought of yet, but may want to explore further by using the Resources links at the end of each article (and the topics might help structure the links already listed, into something for your class):

What effect has oil money had on the political climate of the Middle East? Venezuela? Nigeria?

What effect has oil incidents had on local communities, such as the Valdez incident on native fishing communities?

On a larger scale, what effect has oil had on all of us, every day? In what ways do we depend on oil (for transportation, etc)? Or, what would the world look like if we all stopped using oil, right now?

What happens to communities when oil "comes to town"? What happens when they leave? (That is, what happens with towns during boom and bust cycles... for example, see Grand Junction, Colorado).

How did the writer Ida Tarbell change the structure of oil companies?

Which cultures used oil before it was "discovered" (that is, discovered for global commercial production)?
posted by Houstonian at 3:43 AM on April 1, 2009

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