Mar 20 2011
TeachEngineeringDigitalLibrary's picture
Source: TeachEngineerin...
Summary Information


biofuel, ethanol, fermentation, alternative energy



Workplace Skills: 

Raising Questions
Secondary Research
Planning investigation
Recording & Reporting

Estimated Time Required:

3-5 hours

Target Grade (Ages):

Grade 8 (Ages 13-14)

Diversity Indicators:

Students with limited motor skills may have difficulty manipulating the balloon or grinding ingredients.

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Your Rating: 

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (15 votes)


Wonderful idea

ckilts's picture

This is a really exciting, designed based lab. At times, it's hard in a biology or chemistry class to come up with design challenges that naturally fit into the curriculum. This lesson plan fits into a variety of different bio/chem units. It also allows students to relate the material that they cover in class to a real world design issue. I would like to see an extension on this project for determining the actual amount of ethanol in the products. It also would be interesting to see which product is easiest to distill ethanol from.


rsinghal50's picture

My students did something like this last year. The problem they explored was which foods produced most gas, in terms of flatulence. The group discussed which foods were most gassy, beans or broccoli. They added hydrochloric acid to mimic stomach acid in their experiment. It is easier for the students to measure the circumference of the balloons with a string and measure the string.

I cannot access the rubrics on word. Only the rubric on the pdf document is accessible. And the rubric on the excel document is for the biodome and there seems to be some problem with formatting!

Student discussion on energy sources

rsinghal50's picture

In this video, students discussed the advantages and disadvantages of the different sources of energy. It highlights some student misunderstandings and can be used as a resource to find teachable points. While videotaping this I realized that though students used the internet to research the sources of energy, they did not quite understand what they were reading. Teachers must give students reliable websites at their competency level so they understand completely what they read.

Going to try this for energetics/ecology lesson

mcgaffin's picture

I think I might set this experiment up during my next unit on energetics (cellular respiration, photosynthesis and fermentation). It would be a great way to help kids "see" that there are sugars in plants and that yeast uses fermentation to access those sugars. I will come back to this lesson again during our ecology unit when we discuss the problems with fossil fuels and other alternative energies.

this is a great work, i am

basma's picture

this is a great work, i am really facinated. yet i think it need more work on assessments. in pre, imbedded, post assessments a suitable alternative assessment tools should be used and specified to measure the complex learning outcomes. assessment should take a larger area in your lesson plan in order to collect more evidences on your student understanding, and so you could make sure about achieving yor objectives.

It is nice and very useful

P Jawahar's picture

It is nice and very useful project. By the way of simple process the student will easyly able to understand about biofuels.

nice one

ashokkumar's picture

nice one

Different work....

nmuthupriya narayanan's picture

Different work....
This work is different . I like this...

I always love science

RobertYelverton's picture
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