Can Plants Help Clean Up Watersheds and Supply Renewable Energy? Explore a U.S. Department of Energy BRIDGES Bioenergy Case Study

Thursday, September 12, 2024
10am - 11:30am PT | 11am - 12:30 pm MT | 12pm - 1:30pm CT | 1pm - 2:30pm ET

The registration deadline is Tuesday, September 10, 2024.

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Kelly Sturner (she, her), STEM Education Program Lead | Institutional Partnerships, Argonne National Laboratory

Kelly Sturner is STEM Education Program Lead at Argonne National Laboratory's Learning Center, where she helps both pre-college and college students envision potential futures in STEM fields. Each year, she connects thousands of students with cutting edge science and potential careers through educational national laboratory field trips, virtual escape rooms, summer camps, and high school research. She has co-authored a number of curricular resources that bring national laboratory science to the classroom.Kelly wants to help students see science as a powerful tool to understand the world with immersive and life-changing experiences.


In this session, learn about NEW case study based curricular resources designed for community college and upper level high school classrooms on bioenergy! Bioenergy is a form of renewable energy made from recently living organic matter known as biomass, which can be used to produce transportation fuels, products, and more. In this session, you will learn about and try out as learners a brand new case study based on research from a Department of Energy national laboratory that can immerse your students in the role of STEM professionals, while covering important concepts and standards in environmental science and sustainability.

This workshop will feature the case study "Bioenergy & the Environment: Can Bioenergy Crops Improve Water Quality?" with a scenario that lies at the intersection of energy, water, agriculture and the environment. Learners take on the role of an agricultural engineer in the cutting-edge biofuel industry, research various bioenergy topics including different plants' bioenergy potential and ecosystem services, explore information about a watershed, and design a sustainable landscape for an agricultural area that is struggling with the implications of compromised water quality. This case study requires approximately 4-5 hours of time, in and/or outside of class, to explore the provided scenario and resources and to create the final product, a presentation.

In addition to an introduction of the featured case study, participants will also receive instructions on how to access the free, comprehensive student and instructor guides that have been developed for all of the U.S. Department of Energy-Bioenergy Technologies Office BRIDGES case studies to date, that range in topics from evaluating the greenhouse gas emissions of different aviation fuels (including biofuels) to assisting two tribal nations in evaluating the potential of converting waste to energy on their land. BRIDGES case studies have been tested with both college and high school students. Students that have used BRIDGES case studies have reported increases in both their STEM identity and also improvement in their research skills such as synthesizing information, collaboration, communicating science, data analysis and more. For more information about the Bioenergy Research and Education Bridge Program and to download and preview related resources, see: Bioenergy Research and Education Bridge Program | Department of Energy


Duration: 90 minutes
Format: Presentations will take place through a Zoom Meeting screen-sharing session. The virtual workshop will be recorded.
Accessing the Virtual Workshop: Instructions for joining the virtual workshop will be emailed to participants the day before the event.
Code of Conduct: Participants in all NC-FEW meetings and events are expected to abide by the NC-FEW Code of Conduct, which applies in all venues, events, and on-line forums associated with NC-FEW. Please read the full Code of Conduct Policy for details.
Questions? Please contact Rory McFadden ( if you have any questions about this event.

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