The ShaleAcademy.com, a recently formed program that provides fact-based energy education for all ages based on STEAM – science, technology, engineering, art and math – framework, recently selected the Washington School District as its educational partner to provide programming to high school students.
The mission of the program is to provide educational, communication and career-development opportunities for students for free.
The academy originated from parent company Shale Media Group, which receives more than 7 million views each month across its news, information, educational and mapping resources dedicated to the shale, oil and gas industries. Since the launch of TheMarcellusShale.com in 2008, Shale Media Group and its partners have independently funded multiple educational initiatives to bring information to the public.
The Ambassadorship program is a high school mentoring program that educates future energy leaders by using fact-based research methods to respond to current topics in the energy industry.
Beginning in 2014, each student will be matched with a leader in the industry and work as a team to prepare their responses. The teams meet quarterly to present their knowledge at boardroom-style discussion forums. The learning experience will be documented through Shale Media Group’s VIPER (Video, Internet, Publication, Events and Radio) platform to enable the sessions to be shared as a continuing educational tool.
The program will conclude with an educational forum that is organized and presented by the high school students to the Washington community.
Shale Academy Executive Director Beth De Maagd said she specifically designed the program from conversations that she had with government officials and leaders in the shale, oil and gas industries.
“Energy leaders felt there was a strong desire for industry professionals and officials to harmoniously work together and to be able to sit down in a boardroom with open lines of communications,” she said. Her program strategically brings mentors from diversified fields and educational backgrounds.
“What better way to show positive relationships than by showing our future energy leaders that legal, financial, lobbying, industry and government entities can work together for the benefit of our communities, while providing pertinent information to future career choices and networking opportunities for youth,” she said.
State Sen. Tim Solobay, D-Canonsburg, is contributing to the academy’s initiative as the government relations specialist for the Ambassadorship program.
“Anytime you have a program like TheShaleAcademy.com, you can provide opportunities to lead the youth to educational and future career possibilities. You are not only making a difference to the individual involved, but you are changing and advancing communities,” Solobay said.
Other contributors to the program include Matt Crocco, senior executive with Bravo Group, a public affairs organization based in Pittsburgh, who will provide students and mentors with up-to-date topic questions for research and discussion. Tejas Gosai, founder of Shale Media Group and radio host of “Shale Energy Now,” will mediate the educational sessions with De Maagd. Cara C. Davis, attorney and principal of the Law Offices of Cara C. Davis, will provide legal expertise for the students, while Beemac Trucking and Pittsburgh Region Clean Cities will share alternative fuel research information. In addition, Dr. Thomas Mueller, GIS Professor at California University of Pennsylvania, and Sheana Bergman, with Cal U’s career development department, are both educational committee members for the academy.
The ShaleAcedemy.com is seeking more mentors and sponsors for the Ambassadorship Program.
For more information on becoming a contributor and mentor, contact Beth De Maagd at beth@TheShaleAcademy.com.