Ethanol in the Classroom: Educating the next generation of biofuel visionaries
September 15, 2009 - Washington – Education is a critical aspect of all successful innovations and fundamental to efforts to change the way things have always been done. Our nation’s current energy crisis is no exception.
That is why the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and the Renewable Fuels Foundation (RFF) are partnering with teachers and the National FFA Organization to provide tens of thousands of high school students information about the opportunities available to them in the field of renewable fuels. In addition, the RFF is offering scholarships for students to attend the National Ethanol Conference in Orlando, FL in February free of charge.
From chemists to engineers to accountants and managers, a wide variety of educational disciplines are required not only to maintain current renewable fuel facilities, but to provide the innovation and creativity that leads to future technological breakthroughs.
“America’s energy future rests squarely in its high school classrooms today,” said Mike Jerke, chairman of the RFF and General Manager of Quad County Corn Processors in Galva, Iowa. “It is these future scientists, engineers and dreamers that will supply both the manpower as well as the brain power necessary to break our addiction to fossil fuels. We are proud to be partnering with the National FFA to make these students aware of the vast opportunities offered by a robust renewable fuels industry.”
The curriculum was designed to provide FFA members – many who already have an understanding of agriculture and other related industries – with details about the nature of the renewable fuels industry today. The curriculum focuses on the ethanol production process, the benefits of ethanol production, the interplay between renewable fuels and agriculture, and wide range of other issues. The lessons are available through the Team Ag Ed Learning Center, a website designed to provide agriculture teachers with new and exciting instructional materials, tools and resources.
“Agricultural education and FFA must grow to meet the changing needs of agriculture in an energy-driven economy,” said Will Waidelich, director of the National FFA Educational Programs Division. “These lesson plans and on-line student modules will provide FFA members and agricultural educators tools to help meet this need.”
Specific information on the curriculum can be found here.
The RFF is offering 10 scholarships to cover the cost of the registration fee for the National Ethanol Conference. Students will be required to submit an essay detailing how attending the NEC will benefit their academic goals, outline their experience with renewable energy industries, supply a copy of school transcripts, and have a grade point average of 3.0 or better. The offer is open to only US-based students and non-commercial individuals only.
The deadline for students to apply in November 30, 2009. Students will be responsible for costs incurred traveling to/from and lodging at the NEC. More information is available here or by emailing email@example.com.