Alumni educators present water quality and corn fermentation activities

At Bowling Green State University’s Northwest Ohio STEM Symposium, Feed the World alumni educators shared their knowledge with other teachers.

The first session on water quality, presented by Feed the World alumni educator Jeff Jostpille (Ft. Jennings High School) and Heather Bryan, had eleven participants who were very enthusiastic about the simulated stream. Bryan said, “They got interested in macroinvertebrate testing that they didn’t even remember to do the chemical testing! I had to pull people out and ask them to do those tests! It was very fast paced and fun.”

Participants were engaged and asked questions about how agriculture is working to improve water quality. The teachers liked the idea of practicing these activities with their students before going out to do the field work at a real stream. Dustin Sharp, a science teacher at Sandusky Middle School, won a water quality kit for his classroom.

In the second session, corn fermentation in a bag, twelve participants discussed why corn is currently used to create ethanol and how it is produced. Presenters Bryan, Jostpille , and Brian Badenhop (Ohio Hi-Point Career Center) created several sample bags to demonstrate how enzymes impact starch breakdown. Bryan said, “The teachers asked good questions which led to a discussion on how enzymes work.”

Participants were able to produce alcohol with a 11%, 17%, and 15% concentration as they created their own fermentation bags to test various feedstocks. Robert Kniss won a corn fermentation kit.