BIODIESEL POWERS EDUCATION AT CALERA HIGH SCHOOL
Description of the project as submitted in the grant application
The Calera High School and Brian Copes will use this Cawaco ACES Education Grant Funds grant money to pay for teaching students at Calera High School about current events, energy sources, biodiesel engines, how to make biodiesel fuel and test fuel quality and effectiveness; then apply their knowledge by requiring them to create presentations & test their fuel in competition, including the following activities in the application for funds:
1. Conduct a curriculum to teach students about current events, global warming, energy sources, biodiesel engines, practical applications, and how to make biodiesel fuels.
2. Students will make their own biodiesel fuel, perform test on the quality of the fuels, record the data and analyze the results.
3. The fuel will be used in the BUV competition hosted by the Institute for Affordable Transportation.
4. Students will collaborate to develop a presentation that can be used to educate community groups regarding the applications of biodiesel fuels.
The biodiesel grant allowed Calera High School to purchase a state of the art biodiesel fuel refinery lab. The Calera High School biodiesel project is a cross curricular implementation. Here science, technology, and history teachers have been able to bring learning to life as they immerge their students into a practical hands on project based activity.
Through the application of this biodiesel lab teachers have been able to teach students:
During the 2010 school year the biodiesel lab will be an integral part of the STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) course work. Here the students will be using the lab to refine used vegetable oil into a practical green energy source. The students will test their fuel to determine its performance against its fossil fuel counterpart. The fuel will then be used in the student's basic utility vehicle. Here the students can take center stage as they report their test findings to business experts, college professors and students at the 2010 basic utility vehicle competition.
The Cawaco biodiesel educational project has attracted and gained the support of the business community. This is evident by the donation of the Dixie Chopper biodiesel hybrid car. Through this donation and the Cawaco biodiesel grant, Calera High school has been placed as forefront leader in alternative fuels technology. The students are exposed to biodiesel, electric, and hybrid automobiles. This grant has given the students at Calera High School a key to unlock their potential in an ever-increasing high-tech work force.
(How the project benefits the community, etc)
Not only will this project be an essential teaching tool but also it will be used as a community service project. The students will sell/donate a portion of their fuel to the city of Calera to be used in their lawn and garden maintenance equipment. This will allow the students to see their research and hard work be put into practical application and use.
This project served approximately 200+ students at Calera High School as well as members of the community.