Learning about corn as an energy source

Scott Hoover brought corn into his chemistry class at Butler High School! After attending the Ohio Corn & Wheat-sponsored Feed the World workshop last summer, Hoover did several of the Energy and Ethanol lessons with his science students.

Hoover said the students enjoyed both activities. He performed the corn mash and distillation as a demo and students conducted the corn fermentation in groups of two. Hoover said, “They enjoyed seeing an actual distillation which supplied ethanol capable of passing the flame test and powering the Stirling engine. It was an “a-ha” moment when they realized why the gas pump labels say ethanol is added. Corn as fuel for your vehicle is a new realization for most of my students.”

Hoover said he’ll refer back to these activities all year long. “From gas production to boiling point, students gained a foothold in many new areas of chemistry. I found the Engineering Design Challenge aspect of corn fermentation in a bag to be very useful. It allowed for the collection and analysis of data, which is something I am always working to implement in my classroom. ”

The workshop gave Hoover concrete examples of how corn is used in everyday life. He found the tour of the POET ethanol production plant to be “hands down the best part of the workshop”. He also enjoyed meeting with different teachers from many different subject areas. The lessons were well thought out and easy to implement. I enjoyed the drone demonstration at the industry dinner. It showed how drones can be used to help improve yields in farming.”

We’d love to have you at our next workshop! Check out events page for upcoming workshops.