University of Findlay is now offering a Waste to Energy Teacher Resource, sponsored by Columbia Gas, to help middle and high school teachers incorporate STEM in their curriculum in ways that excite and engage students.
The importance of renewable energy, both environmentally and economically, is becoming more apparent, as is the knowledge and with associated, in-demand industries. Workforce development in the areas of agriculture, energy, and transportation is essential to encourage sustainable growth nationwide.
Strategically created for current science, technology, engineering, and math educators or those working through licensure, the Waste to Energy Teacher Resource illustrates the ways to introduce STEM concepts and skills in their classes that prepare students for their future careers and sets a foundation of making environmentally responsible choices.
Co-author of the resource Nathan Tice, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and chair of the Department of Physical Sciences, explained that the Waste to Energy Teacher Resource was created because while there are many professional development opportunities for teachers, very little of it is content specific. “We want to facilitate STEM education skills in a hands-on setting and give educators the tools to inspire their students to be a part of the next generation of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs in the agriculture, transportation, and energy sectors,” he stated.
The program provides a number of hands-on, experiential learning activities focused on soybeans and the production of biodiesel, all of which align to Ohio State Science and Agriculture teaching standards. Tice explained, “some of the activities involve testing growing conditions of the beans and optimizing that process, isolating different components of the soy, forming and testing the biodiesel made from soybeans, and utilizing soy products in novel ways such as art projects.” A variety of strategies and tips for educators on how to effectively teach STEM concepts to their students are also included.
“Ohio needs students that have the knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm to build its workforce in these critical areas,” said Tice. “We hope that this teacher resource empowers educators and excites students toward STEM fields here in the state.”
More information on the Waste to Energy Teaching Resource can be found on the program webpage. For specific details, contact Dr. Tice at firstname.lastname@example.org or co-author Dr. Gwynne Rife, professor of biological sciences and education and chair of Advanced Professional Programs in the College of Education, at email@example.com.