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North Dakota Teachers Visit Oil Country

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It was day three of the North Dakota Geographic Alliance Summer Institute and Wednesday, the group was in the heart of oil country learning about the oil industry first-hand.

Their pens were ready and their notebooks were out, as the teachers were sitting in the student’s place Wednesday morning learning more about the oil patch.

"Coming up here and seeing all this in person is really interesting, I’m learning so much. A lot of questions that I had and a lot of them were asked and answered in there, so that was great," says Adonica Goods a Wahpeton fourth-grade teacher.

Like many of the teachers at the Summer Institute, Good is from the southeast region of the state. So, this is her first taste of the Bakken.

"I think there's going to be a lot of clarity from what we learned. I mean coming form where we are, we're not seeing the impact as much. We're hearing a lot about it, so it's kind of nice to sort out what we're hearing truth and lies and that kind of thing," says Good.

"Our major goal is to promote geographic understanding in the general community, but more specifically, to promote classroom education in geography," says Dave Lanegran a Minnesota Geographic Alliance Coordinator.

As the oil industry continues to boom in Western North Dakota, teachers are trying to grow along with it.

"We touch on, you know, back in the pioneer days, the boom days, and stuff like that, and we have talked about this area. Now, I feel like I have more to offer. I feel I can give them a lot more insight," says Good.

"It's really important for teachers to be able to talk about what's going on now because the textbooks that people use are pretty old. So, this is such a dynamic part of the country," says Lanegran.

Once teachers were done in the classroom, they were off to the oil patch to follow the barrel.

The North Dakota and Minnesota Geographic Alliances hope to work together to plan a joint summer institute on mineral resources sometime next year.

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