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Fifty teachers learning about oil and gas during the annual 'Teacher Education Seminar,' sponsored by the ND Petroleum Foundation

Dave Thompson

Fifty teachers from across North Dakota are attending the annual Teacher Education Seminar, sponsored by the North Dakota Petroleum Foundation.

The seminar is being held at the Bismarck State College National Energy Center of Excellence. The teachers will also get a tour of the Mandan Tesoro Refinery and the oil patch.

North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness said this will give teachers a better understanding of North Dakota’s natural resources.

"With so many opportunities in the oil and gas industry, these teachers touch so many kids each year, and as we see the choices the kids have, knowing there's a lot of exciting math and science opportunities — as well as welding and truck driving —for them to know the breadth of opportunities across the state that exist, versus the mind-set of what's out there in oil and gas," Ness said.

"For my students, we frequently talk about current topics, and oil and gas always seem to be part of the news stories we discuss in class," said Scott Foltz, who teaches history at Jim Hill Middle School in Minot. "I want to know all the different sides of the oil and gas question."

Brittany Binstock teaches history at Belfield High School. She said her students will benefit from the information she’s receiving at the seminar.

"Not only in history," Binstock said. "History has everything to do with oil and where it comes from — and we can integrate that. But you can integrate this into any subject —not only in looking for a career, but also looking at how things work. And it will help them understand politics and apply it to their lives, and how it all works. It's really interesting."

The seminar runs through Thursday.

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