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...

This interactive visualization allows users to compare projections of Wisconsin's average annual temperature with the actual changes of the last five decades. Text on the web page encourages students to think about the challenges Wisconsin could face if these changes occur.

Using US Drought Monitor data and its classification system, this interactive tool tracks drought in the continental US by county, from 2000 to the present.

The Climate Momentum Simulation allows users to quickly compare the resulting sea level rise, temperature change, atmospheric CO2, and global CO2 emissions from six different policy options projected out to 2100.

This visualization shows the molecular interaction of infrared radiation with various gases in the atmosphere. Focus is on the interaction with C02 molecules and resultant warming of the troposphere.

This activity includes two experiments that explore shadows and light and how mirrors can demonstrate how light travels.

This animation demonstrates the changing declination of the sun with a time-lapse animation. It shows how the shadow of a building changes over the course of a year as the declination of the sun changes.

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 activity allows students to explore sea level rise. The experiment allows them to test whether land ice and/or sea ice contribute to sea level rise as they melt.

This activity from the Department of Energy provides background information about solar ovens and instructions on building a simple model solar cooker.

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