"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

Robbins Professor David Shonnard (right) with 2011 RET high school teachers and graduate students at RET poster session (Photo: Jill Jensen)

Jeffrey Naber (right) with Mandy Frantti and Todd Waurio in the MTU Advanced Power Systems Reearch Center laboratory.

Wood to Wheels RET Site

Year 1 2011 Summary: In 2011, we hosted the first cohort of seven teachers from the UP and from as far away as Detroit.  In addition, other participants included Dr. Kedmun Hungwe (Cognitive and Learning Science), Christine Anderson (Diversity Office), and Shawn Oppliger (outreach to K-12).  Two teachers were in Dr. Shonnard's laboratory for six weeks beginning July 6, 2011.  These teachers learned how to plan and safely conduct research on the conversion of woody resources into ethanol, a renewable transportation fuel and fossil fuel additive.  The teachers developed laboratory exercises and protocols to take back to their chemistry and natural resources course laboratories and created teaching units in sustainability and renewable fuels.  Teachers were assisted in the Shonnard laboratory by two Ph.D. graduate students, Felix Adom (Ghana) and Jifei Liu (China).  Similar experiences were had by teachers in the laboratories of Drs. Joshi (molecular biology of poplar trees) and Naber (fundamental combustion studies, advanced engine operations).  During the academic year (2011-2012), follow up activities included visits to the schools of these teachers to further develop and evaluate teaching units.  2011 Teacher Cohort:
Karl Balke: Lewis Cass Technical High School, Physics, Robotics Coach
Mandy Frantti: Munising High School, Physics, Astronomy, Mathematics
Joel Hockin: Romulus High School, Biology, Physics, ACT Prep
Susanne Powers: Grand Blanc High School, Biology, AP Environmental Science
Darcie Ruby: Detroit Midtown Academy, Biology, Environmental Science
Corey Suomis: Calumet High School, Chemistry, AP Chemistry
Todd Waurio: Calumet High School, Geometry, Algebra II

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