Sr. Ag. Capstone students produce ethanol with mini-grant supplies

Lindsey Whetstone applied for a Feed the World mini-grant to use with her students. Whetstone said, “Students enrolled in the Sr. Ag. Capstone and Plant & Animal Science Courses at Jackson Center High School complete an entire unit on biotechnology. 98% of students do not have any agricultural background, and earning this grant to teach them about ethanol production would not only be vital for the learning process but to also expose them to a variety of careers, lab techniques, etc. Our local community is very well populated with grain farms and could serve as a great community connection between the students, community, and the project. According to the Renewable Fuels Association, the US ethanol industry has grown to over 200 plants that are producing approximately 14.8 billion gallons of ethanol annually. Teaching students about the importance of biotechnology and biofuels through this lab and lessons will increase their current knowledge and create a networking opportunity.”

Whetstone was awarded a mini grant to purchase a distillation kit and hot plate. She used the Energy and Ethanol lessons to teach students about the uses of corn and the process to create ethanol. The supplies purchased allowed the students to perform the lab and produce their own ethanol.

Students pictured: Kasey Copeland and Vanessa Winner working on a lab as a part of the Sr. Ag. Capstone Course