NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Sciences hosted a series of Biofuel Technology Workshops for middle and high school teachers and students June 30through July 3 on the campus of Tennessee State University. The project, led by Dr. Ahmad Naseer Aziz, associate professor of Molecular Genetics, was funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“The College is devoted to providing education to teachers and students in green technology through hands-on experiences and interaction with experts in the field,” said Dr. Jason de Koff, assistant professor of Bioenergy Crop Production, and one of several faculty members who led educational sessions as part of the workshops. “We plan to be active participants in training the next generation of scientists and advancing the state of Tennessee.”
Ten local educators attended the four-day teachers workshop for tips, pointers and helpful information on teaching the emerging field of biofuels, hands-on biofuel conversion, a tour of TSU’s agricultural labs, and informational sessions from the College’s biofuel specialists. All educators received a free “Production of Biodiesel Kit (Carolina ChemKits®)” to teach in their classrooms.
Twelve local middle school students attended the workshop June 30 while 13 local high school students attended the workshop on July 2. The youth workshops focused on teaching basic lab techniques used in biofuel conversion and growing biomaterials used in the process. Students participated in various hands-on activities and games such as hand-held biofuel conversion and biodiesel feedstock bingo.
At the conclusion of the workshop, participants filled out anonymous surveys that indicated that the information and activities presented by College faculty members would serve as inspiration for new activities and ways to teach biofuels and related technologies at the middle and high school levels.
“I learned a lot compared to what I knew before,” said one participant via survey. “I [am now] interested in a subject that [previously] appear[ed] boring.”
For more information, contact Dr. de Koff at (615) 963-4929 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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