Fermentation and careers

Chris Klemm’s Northland High School Principles of Engineering class recently learned about fermentation and its applications to ethanol and more. The students went through the Corn fermentation in a bag lesson, part of the Energy and ethanol unit on our website.

Klemm said, “My students were excited to make ethanol and did considerably better with lab safety and technique. We were not able to use glucoamylase, but amylase was available. Students used mortar and pestle to grind glucose tabs. We went over the basic chemistry involved and students understood why the recipes were generating CO2. They enjoyed the overall process. Their ‘a-ha’s centered around the de-mystification of alcoholic fermentation.”

Klemm said that after the lab, he had an extensive discussion with his students about careers in engineering, including the careers he learned about while touring the POET plant as part of last summer’s Ohio Corn & Wheat-sponsored Feed the World workshop. “I also became acquainted with a mycologist while on Christmas break. He is concentrating on the food industry, enthusiastic about his opportunities with companies involved in beer, wine, and cheese-making.” Klemm plans to have his students interview him to find out more about those careers.