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Category: Bioenergy

Plastic-Eating Bacteria Discovered!  March 14th, 2016

A SMILE Teacher sent us an article to share with all – scientists have discovered a species of bacteria that can slowly digest polyethylene terephalate (PET), a common plastic that is in polyester fabrics and water bottles. It was previously believed that this material was not biodegradable and no microbes could break it down. This may be an important breakthrough in reducing pollution and cleaning up our oceans.

Check out the full article here!

It All Comes Down to Glucose!  February 4th, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

Thanks to Brain Hartman from the College of Education for sharing this bioenergy activity with us at the workshop.

2000px-Beta-D-Glucose.svgIt All Comes Down to Glucose Lesson Plan

It’s All About Glucose Powerpoint Presentation


Brewing for Bioenergy  February 4th, 2016

From our January Teachers’ Workshop:

Brewing for Bioenergy Lesson Plan


Brewing for Bioenergy Presentation – This is the powerpoint that Brian Hartman shared during the session

Renewable Wind Energy Activity  February 3rd, 2016

From the January Teachers’ Workshop:

Here are the materials associated with the Renewable Energy and Wind Turbine kit lesson (presented by Brian Hartman, PhD Candidate in Education):

Renewable Wind Energy Presentation

Basic Wind-Kit Manual



2015 Summer Teacher’s Workshop Bioenergy Activities  August 10th, 2015

We will be holding the summer teacher’s workshop Aug 9-11.  The bioenergy activities will focus on renewable energy.  Bioenergy is a part of the complete renewable energy picture, but how do you choose which option makes the most sense.  We will kick off the workshop by exploring best practices for engineering design projects, Designing Engineers Activity. Then, look at what it takes to power a house that is off the grid. We will use geographic information systems (GIS) to determine whether its makes sense to use Trees or Solar Panels for the renewable energy source. This will lead into design of the house to optimize solar panels and solar heating through the Solar City Activity. Finally, we will take a deep dive into optimizing solar photo-voltaic panels for maximum output with the Shocking Solar Activity. We hope to see you at the workshop.unnamed

Recap: Middle School and Elementary School Challenge 2015 at OSU Cascades  May 7th, 2015

We had a great time at all three Middle School and Elementary School Challenges this year. We ended the Challenge at Oregon State University’s Cascade Campus where elementary students learned about predator and prey relationships. AmeriCorps volunteers helped the students create habitats to help demonstrate these relationships. Check out their work below and on our Facebook page. Students also had a great time touring Central Oregon Community College and continued to make awesome solar ovens. We hope to see you next year!

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Recap: Middle School and Elementary School Challenge 2015 at Portland Community College  April 27th, 2015

This year’s challenge was focused around solar energy.  Middle school students made solar ovens and we were impressed with their results. While at Portland Community College, the elementary school students were introduced to exciting areas of study like physics, chemistry, biology for management of zoo animals, chemistry, and veteranary technician.  It looks like a fun time was had by all. Be sure to check out more pictures on our Facebook page.


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High School Challenge 2015  April 23rd, 2015

As seen by our last post, students put forth a great effort during our High School Challenge. While learning about ways to recycle, the students also were able to talk to current Oregon State University students about college life. Here are some pictures from those events.  Additional photos can be seen on our Facebook page found here.

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