This week, we took a trip to Galveston to check out the Ocean Star Oil Rig Museum. The Ocean Star is a retired platform oil rig that’s been turned into a museum. It’s pretty nifty, and the closest most of us will ever get to being on a real oil rig! Our guide took us through all of the museum areas, including displays of life-sized drill bits, interactive models, and scale models to show exactly how small the platforms are when anchored out in the ocean. We learned about seismology, geology, also got to see how the oil rigs are built and transported to their final locations, and how oil is found, pumped and moved from the holding tanks on the rigs back to land. As expected, there was considerable time spent discussing the ecological impact of oil drilling and manufacture, and how the oil companies contribute to the ecological health of an area.
After the tour, the kids got to do an engineering project. They used everyday materials to try to put together a structure that could hold weight without collapsing – and found that it was harder than it sounded!
It was a great experience, and we look forward to going back! If you’re too far away to visit in person, check out their website under the ‘museum’ tab for a virtual tour.