Edvotek Energy and the Environment

October is packed with holidays and celebrations – it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, has Yom Kippur and Halloween, and also boasts National Coffee/Poetry/Art/Pasta/Dessert Day! (Some of these may be more significant than others.) Add National Energy Awareness Month to the significant list.

As daylight decreases and temperatures go down National Energy Month encourages individuals, organizations, and the government to responsibly use, manage and improve our energy resources. At Edvotek we’re using it as an opportunity to examine our own energy use and to highlight current (and soon to be released) energy experiments.

Edvotek Experiment #304 The Future Of BioFuels puts students into the role of energy creators as they use small scale flask fermentation to optimize the ethanol production and sugar utilization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. High-yield energy sources such as bioethanol are one way to reduce fossil fuel use. The process of producing these fuels also illustrates biotechnology at its best – using biological knowledge, experimentation, and living systems/organisms to develop and make useful products. (If you’re interested in a more biotech intensive kit our Edvotek Experiment #331 Investigating Synthetic Biology guides students through the creation, growth, and evaluation of E. coli “devices” and uses many of the same skills and processes employed by today’s alternative energy bio-scientists.)

Looking for a more classic energy flow kit that directly covers both AP Biology and NGSS energy topics? Check out our free Energy Dynamics lab where students model how energy flows through (and gets lost in) a meadow ecosystem.

Finally, stay tuned. We’re about to release a hands on climate change experiment…