"Wood to Wheels" - Research Experience for High School Teachers in Sustainable Transportation Technologies


Sustainable Futures Institute
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931

Phone: 906.487.3612
Fax: 906.487.2943
e-mail: sfi@mtu.edu

Joel Hockin in Dr. Joshi's molecular biology lab at MTU.

Transformed bacteria showing the glowing phenotype (bottom left) and non-transformed bacteria in the pGlo lab.
















Biofuel Genetic Optimization and the Engineers’ Role

Teacher Infomation:Joel Hockin

Romulus High School: Biology, Physics, ACT Prep


Unit Overview:This unit begins by introducing engineering and biofuels. Students then perform two labs. In the first lab they will investigate germination effeciency of switchgrass at different temperatures. In the second lab they will transform bacteria, introducing a glowing gene.

Target Grade Level: High School Science

Download Unit Outline & Timeline

Download RET Research Poster

Lesson Plans:
Lesson One: Engineering and Biofuel Introduction

Students will begin by investigating various sources for biofuel production including an analysis of the cost effectiveness.  Next, the students will share their findings with the class through a PowerPoint presentation and informational brochure.

Download Lesson One Plans

Lesson Two:  Switchgrass Germination Lab

The lesson will involve Switchgrass Germination using various sub species and determining their germination efficiency at varying temperatures. Adapted from the Boyce Thompson Institute Education Program http://bti.cornell.edu/.

Download Lesson Two Plans

Lesson Three: Bio-Rad pGlo Bacterial Transformation Lab

Students will be presented with a background knowledge of bacterial transformation and then proceed to conduct an experiment to transform E. coli using a phorescent gene from a jellyfish.  They will be conducting the lab using specific advanced laboratory techniques that is used in current Bio-Tech research with the emphasis placed on biofuel source optimization.

Download Lesson Three Plans

Home || Lesson Plans  || Year 1 2011 Summary || Year 2 2012 Summary  || Year 3 2013 Summary