Ohio teachers learned how corn becomes ethanol at 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 mashed, fermented and distilled. The nutrient tests assessed protein and carbohydrate levels in the raw product, after fermentation and after distillation. The ethanol created was evaluated with a flame test and by fueling putt-putt boats, always a favorite activity of teachers and students.
“It’s so helpful to attend workshops like this where we can actually do the labs,” said Lara Hamilton, a chemistry and physical science teacher at Lynchburg-Clay High School.
Ohio Corn & Wheat is proud to sponsor these teacher workshops to help connect science to the workplace. Farmer Eric Need welcomed the teachers and spoke about the need for bright minds to fill in-demand jobs in agriculture-related fields.
Brad Moffitt, director of market development for the Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association, spoke to the group at the Ethanol Industry Luncheon. Moffitt shared the value of ethanol to Ohio’s economy and environment. Seven ethanol plants in the state produced more than 700 billion gallons of ethanol.
“It was very helpful,” said Molly Niese, professor of biology, anatomy/physiology and environmental science at Madison Plains High School. “I see lots of ways to use these lessons in my classroom.”