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Farming for Fuels

Dimensions magazine features Creative Discovery Museum, BESC collaboration Farming for Fuels program


The Farming for Fuels program developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL’s) BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) and the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was featured in an article in the Dimensions magazine March–April 2014 edition published by the Association of Science-Technology Centers. The article highlights the following program features:

  • Classroom lessons in which an inquiry-based lesson plan introduces concepts connected with biofuels and the challenges faced when producing them.
  • Family events during which students and their families interact directly with scientists and rotate through nine to 15 activity centers covering the need for alternative energy fuels.
  • A biofuels educational website www.learnbiofuels.org that includes content for educators, children, and the general public.
  • The Road Trip Challenge (RTC), a software program that challenges the user to make good environmental decisions about transportation and the use of electric, gasoline, and biofuels energy. RTC is also available as a free iPad app at www.itunes.org.
  • Distance learning classroom kits with hands-on activities designed to promote interactive learning on current transportation energy sources and the challenges involved in creating renewable energy options.
     

Since 2008 Farming for Fuels has grown into a program with a national presence and is currently being used in 20 science centers and museums in 12 states More than 80,000 people across the United States have now participated in the program. The journal in which this article appears was circulated to nearly 600 science-technology museums in more than 40 countries, greatly increasing the program’s visibility to the museum-education community.
 

The Creative Discovery Museum is a BESC partner and manages the biofuels educational program.  BESC, a Department of Energy (DOE) Bioenergy Research Center, is supported by the Office of Biological and Environmental Research in the DOE Office of Science.

You can find lesson plans, educational information, videos, and more at www.learnbiofuels.org. —Tamara Rogers.

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