2010 – Distinguished Public Service to the Earth Sciences Award

Award: Distinguished Public Service to Earth Sciences
Awardee: The Desk and Derrick Club of Denver, for their Public Perception Committee Magic Suitcase Program
Publication: The Outcrop, November 2010, p. 18-19

The Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists presents its award for Distinguished Public Service to the Earth Sciences to the Desk and Derrick Club of Denver in recognition of their Public Perception Committee Magic Suitcase Program’s dedication to serving the citizens of Colorado through earth science.

Desk and Derrick Club of Denver first started the Magic Suitcase Program in 1996 as a way of showing the positive aspects about the oil and gas industry through an informational and entertaining presentation to school children and the community. The Magic Suitcase program sends trained representatives of the club to schools and public forums in and around Colorado to speak about products which come from petroleum and how petrochemicals affect the everyday lives of people. Over time, presentations became more sophisticated and involved more school children and schools. The seminar now involves several science experiments showing how petrochemicals can be transformed, items of everyday use which are derived from petrochemicals and the reuse and recycling of petrochemical products such as plastics and polymers. Seminars typically last less than an hour and are generally warmly received by the public. The popularity of the Magic Suitcase program has expanded across state borders to neighboring states and now presents to over 1000 individuals per year and over 10,000 people since its inception.

Ted Kendall and Mari Clark are the present co-chairs of the Public Perception Committee and currently oversee the program, giving presentations and training other presenters. Patricia Varney brought the disbanded Mile High Club’s Magic Suitcase presentation to the Desk and Derrick and updated the program. Laurie Cocharo and Carla Wilson put together a training DVD to get more industry participation. Ms. Cocharo expanded the program to Texas, Louisiana and Ohio during her association with the Magic Suitcase Program. The program currently has nineteen volunteers which gave 30 presentations to 1142 school children in 2009. The program expects to surpass those numbers in 2010.

In recognition of its commitment and dedication to serving the citizens of Colorado through the Magic Suitcase Program, the Rocky Mountain Association of Geologists presents the Desk and Derrick Club of Denver with its 2010 award for Distinguished Public Service to the Earth Sciences.


Footnote: Volunteers involved in the Magic Suitcase program with Desk and Derrick Club of Denver: Laurie Cocharo, Carla Wilson, Kelli Schandel, Linsey Jones, Jessica Andrews, Sandee Parsons, Diane O’Dea, Teresa Huff, Sandi Stocker, Megan Moroney, Rachel Green, Joy Gardner, Mitzi Wiseman, Jan Radcliffe, Elise Dietz, Cassie Parks, Joanie Mickle, John Farrell, Christina Hunt, Leslie McFadden, Janelle Wadas, Jerry Rasmussen, Mari Clark, and Ted Kendall.

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