Farmers setting the stage for teaching teachers

Ohio teachers learned about how corn becomes ethanol in a recent energy and ethanol workshop in Springfield, sponsored by Ohio Corn & Wheat.

Presenters Jane Hunt and Rachel Sanders led the group through renewable energy labs found on the Feed the World website. Corn was turned into mash, fermented, and distilled. Nutrient testing evaluated levels of protein and carbohydrates in the raw product, after fermentation, and after distillation. The ethanol created was evaluated with a flame test and by powering putt-putt boats, always a favorite activity with teachers and students alike.

“It is so helpful to attend workshops like this where we actually get to do the labs,” said Lara Hamilton, chemistry and physical science teacher at Lynchburg-Clay High School. 

Ohio Corn & Wheat is proud to sponsor these teacher workshops to help connect science with the workplace. Farmer Eric Need greeted teachers and talked about the need for bright minds to fill in-demand jobs in agriculture-related areas.

Brad Moffitt, director for market development for the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, talked to the group at lunch about the ethanol industry. Moffitt shared about the value of ethanol for Ohio’s economy and the environment. Seven ethanol plants in the state have produced over 700 billion gallons of ethanol.

“This has been so helpful,” Molly Niese, a biology, anatomy/physiology, and environmental science teacher at Madison Plains High School. “I see lots of ways to use these lessons in my classroom.”

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