"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.










Bioenergy in the classroom

Teacher Infomation:Darcie Ruby

Divine Child High School


Unit Overview:In this unit students will investigate their role and impact in global climate change through a PowerPoint presentation as well as a reading and writing strategy.  Students will be introduced to the importance of bioenergy, our energy issues, their impact, possible solutions and engineering careers a part of the Wood To Wheels focus is to dismantle the misconceptions many students have about engineering.

Target Grade Level: High School Biology

Download Unit Outline & Timeline

Download RET Research Poster

Lesson Plans:
Lesson One: Bioenergy in the Classroom

Students will investigate how the food they eat and its production effect the global climate.  They will be introduced to the importance of bioenergy, our energy issues, the impact of those issues, and possible solutions.  Students will investigate how changes in DNA can aid in producing plants that have higher levels of cellulose, which is important in producing ethanol.

Download Lesson One Plans

Lesson Two: Genetic Engineering with Bio-Rad pGLO

This lesson is centered on the Bio-Rad pGLO Bacterial Transformation Kit. Students will examine how a gene and associated trait from one organism can be isolated, transferred to another organism and replicated. Students will also use the RAFT writing strategy to assess knowledge about the ethical dilemma of cloning.

Download Lesson Two Plans

Lesson Three: What Do You Say?

Students will be introduced to public service announcements and their purpose.  Students will choose (or be assigned) one of the 5 renewable energies listed and research specific information on that renewable energy including its negative impacts on the environment.  Students will then present their PSA’s to the class, and assess their group involvement

Download Lesson Three Plans

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