This is a long-term inquiry activity in which students investigate locations they believe harbor cellulose-digesting microbes, collect samples, isolate them on selective media, and screen them for cellulase activity. These novel microbes may be useful for the production of cellulosic ethanol. In the process they learn about plating techniques, serial dilutions, symbiotic relationships and enzyme specificity. Two methods are provided, one focusing on isolation of pure microbial strains, the other focusing on finding symbiotic communities of microbes.
The companion activity is here: https://www.glbrc.org/outreach/educational-materials/bioprospecting-cell...

Students participate in a demonstration to explore how clouds form and what conditions are necessary for cloud formation.

In this activity, students conduct a life cycle assessment of energy used and produced in ethanol production, and a life cycle assessment of carbon dioxide used and produced in ethanol production.

This hands-on activity introduces students to the process of fermenting different carbohydrate sources into ethanol. Teachers demonstrate yeasts' inability to metabolize certain food sources.

This is a hands-on inquiry activity using zip-lock plastic bags that allows students to observe the process of fermentation and the challenge of producing ethanol from cellulosic sources. Students are asked to predict outcomes and check their observations with their predictions. Teachers can easily adapt to materials and specific classroom issues.

This model of ocean-atmosphere interaction shows how carbon dioxide gas diffuses into water, causing the water to become more acidic. The video demonstration and instruction provide an explanation of the chemistry behind this change and the consequences of ocean acidification. The video also addresses a misconception about how ocean acidification affects shelled organisms.

This activity allows students to demonstrate the thermal expansion of water for themselves using water bottles and straws. The discussion allows them to explore the connection between this concept and sea level rise due to climate change.