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Education & Outreach Newsletter: April 2015
Telling the Biofuels Story to Students
Understanding role of biofuels in meeting our energy needs and mitigating global climate change is a complex task. Telling stories is an effective way to help students make sense of science ideas and important societal issues. We created a "Biofuels Story" pictorial to help teachers introduce this story to students. This includes a wall version with pictures that can be posted and narrated on a classroom wall, as well as  a supplemental online Prezi version of the story. Read more?  
Biofuels vs Fossil Fuels Unit
The Biofuels vs Fossil Fuels unit has students explore the similarities and differences between fossil fuels and biofuels. In the process, students investigate the carbon-transforming processes of combustion, photosynthesis, fermentation, respiration, and the overall effect of these fuels on the global carbon cycle. This in-depth unit was written in collaboration with education researchers a Michigan State University and aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards. Read more?
GLBRC "Data Nuggets" for Students
In the coming months we will be rolling out a series of "data nugget" activities that allow students to answer the research questions investigated by our scientists using real data generated by researchers in GLBRC labs and field trials. Topics will include biomass production, fermentation and biodiversity. These activities are based on a model developed by educators and researchers at W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Our first activity has students compare the biomass production of different crops to determine when and where perennial bioenergy crops can compete with "king corn." Read more?
2014 Bioenergy Institute for Educators

Join us for a fun, intensive 5-day program (June 22-26) to learn about the latest developments in biofuels research and effective approaches to engaging students in relevant content areas across the science curriculum. Participating educators explore core areas of GLBRC research with our scientists, get hands-on experience with NGSS-aligned education materials, and are supported in incorporating new lessons in their classes. Includes $500 stipend. Read more and apply? 

GLBRC is partnering with the Wisconsin Energy Institute to offer the Energy Institute for Educators, August 10-13. This program provides the opportunity for educators to engage with cutting-edge energy research at UW-Madison and gain practical tools and NGSS-aligned materials for teaching students fundamentals of energy and sustainable energy systems. Includes $300 stipend.  Read more and apply?
Research Highlights:

Daniel Amador-Noguez Engineers Better Bacteria for Biofuels

GLBRC researcher Amador-Noguez emanates anticipation for next week's result, the future of his research, and the future of biofuels. "It's difficult to come up with a biological process that isn't affected by bacteria," he says. "They are virtually everywhere, not just in the environment but also inside our bodies. And if we can improve our understanding of microbes we can do a lot of enormously important things, including improving biofuels." Read more ?  

 

Biofuels Research Uncovers Natural Fungicide  

GLBRC scientists reported the discovery of a chemical compound called poacic acid that could eventually be used as a fungicide in both sustainable and conventional farming. First author Jeff Piotrowski says the discovery underscores the complementary nature of twin pursuits: sustainable energy production and sustainable agriculture. Read more ?  

 

Gina Lewin Explores How Ants Break Down Cellulose 

After originally coming to GLBRC in 2009 as a participant in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, graduate student Gina Lewin has since conducted top-notch research and demonstrated the importance of translating her research into engaging classroom material. "In the six years since her REU, Gina has grown into a real spokesperson for GLBRC," says Director of Education & Outreach John Greenler. Read more ?  

 

Visit the GLBRC News page more additional research highlights.  

Upcoming Events:

Engineering Expo

Thursday, April 16 - Saturday, April 18, 2015

1550 Engineering Dr, UW-Madison   

 

Nelson Earth Day Conference

Monday, April 20, 2015

Monona Terrace, Madison, WI 

 

Delta Program Roundtable: Teaching and Learning about Energy  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

12:00pm to 1:10pm

Memorial Union, Tripp Commons, UW-Madison 

  
DIY Science: Brewing Sustainable Biofuels
Friday, May 08, 2015
7:00pm to 9:00pm
Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, UW-Madison

Bioenergy Institute for Educators

Monday, June 22 - Friday, June 26, 2015

Wisconsin Energy Institute, UW-Madison 

 

Energy Institute for Educators 

Monday, August 10 - Thursday, August 13, 2015 

Monday, June 22 - Friday, June 26, 2015

Wisconsin Energy Institute, UW-Madison

 

 Please visit the Education & Outreach Event Blog for a look at more upcoming events.

Related News & Announcements:

BETO Webinar on Biofuel Sustainability  

The Energy Department (DOE) will present a live webinar titled "Biofuels for the Environment and Communities" on Wednesday April 22, 2015, from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). Read more and register ?
  
Upcoming MOOCs at UW-Madison on Energy, Climate Change, Aldo Leopold
UW-Madision is offering 6 Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) to lifelong learners in Wisconsin and around the world! MOOCs are free online learning opportunities available as non-credit experiences to anyone interested in participating. Topics include Climate Change, Energy, Aldo Leoppold's Land Ethic. Read more?

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