2013 ACS-CEI Award Recipients

Richard H. Jarman

Math and Physical Sciences, College of DuPage

Green Fuels Depot: Demonstrating Sustainable Energy Conversion on a Local Level

The Green Fuels Depot (GFD) is a collaborative project involving the College of DuPage, the City of Naperville, Argonne National Laboratory and Packer Engineering designed to establish a sustainable energy source based on the gasification of community-generated yard waste,. Residential brush and leaf materials will be converted into a flexible system of energy sources, including electricity, hydrogen and ethanol to power municipal transportation. The GFD offers the prospect of a stand-alone sustainable energy source for urban and agricultural communities as well as remote locations that lack grid electricity. The role of the College of DuPage in this project is threefold: to develop training and educational materials for future GFD operators; mentor and train students in the operation of the equipment; perform basic research on the gasification process. A broader objective of this project is to incorporate material into chemistry curriculum to increase awareness of sustainability throughout the student population.

Andy Jorgensen

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Toledo, 

Climate Change: What Is It? How Will It Affect Us? Can We Reduce the Impact By Our Actions?

Even though climate change has been well characterized over recent years, the physical facts and possible consequences of this phenomenon are not well-known by the public in the United States.  The opinions of many in our country have been influenced by climate skeptics who, for various reasons, present an unscientific view of climate change.  As a result, there is a desire and interest in further education using peer-reviewed information.  A sabbatical leave at the National Council for Science and the Environment during 2008-9 permitted the development of a presentation that has been given more than 50 times in the subsequent three years.  The talk utilizes personal response devices to probe the knowledge and opinions of audience members, which allows greater participation by attendees and increases the impact of the message.

Resa M. Kelly (and Christina Chang)

Department of Chemistry, San Jose State University

Infusing Sustainability into Science Lessons: Challenges and Growth

The overall goal of this Google funded project was to present pre-service teachers (10) enrolled in math and science methods courses with an orientation to climate change/sustainability issues to inspire them to consider relevant ways that they could incorporate sustainability threads in their lessons. The pre-service science teachers were assigned to infuse sustainability into at least one lesson as part of their unit plan, the culminating project of the course.  Upon completion, the students presented their sustainability lesson efforts to in-service teachers in the Bay area, SJSU education faculty and graduate students to promote discussion and revision.  Examination of their projects revealed weak applications of sustainability and lead to further study to examine in-service teachers’ understanding of three components of sustainability as the components were modeled in short You-Tube videos.  Results from this study will be shared.

Natalia P. Tarasova

Institute for the Problems of Sustainable Development, Mendeleyev University, Russia

Sustainable Education in Russia: The Experience of the Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology

The urgent need for re-orientating this generation’s lifestyles underlies the importance of the humanistic and ethical components of the whole framework of education for sustainable development (ESD). The National Sustainable Development Strategy of the Russian Federation stresses that “…the greening of human conscience and ethical principles and radical reorientation of the whole system of education and training toward sustainable development principles must prioritize intellectual and moral values over material values.” The Russian Ecological Doctrine also stresses the need to develop new educational standards that promote basic principles of national sustainable development.

Joseph Vincente, Andrea Swenson

Eastside Community High School, New York, NY

Why Sustainability Matters:  Creating Videos in a Water Chemistry Unit

It is our responsibility as educators to help students see their place in the world as active citizens and to expect them to use their scientific knowledge to advocate for sustainable practices.  This presentation will focus on a project created by the 10th grade chemistry teacher and school librarian in a public high school in Manhattan in which students created 3-minute Public Service Announcement videos on a water sustainability issue of their choice.  Without extensive class time given to video production, students were able to synthesize their understanding of chemistry principles and sustainability and apply their understanding to a social issue.   This presentation will describe the process of taking a traditional unit focused on water chemistry and transforming it to culminate in this high-interest, high-quality assessment.  Attendees will receive access to easily adapted materials for a variety of educational settings, including an assessment rubric and online examples.