The energy of 400 seventh-graders was channeled into the State Botanical Garden Oct. 22 for the third annual Bioenergy Day @ UGA.
The Hilsman and Coile middle school students and their teachers crowded into the Botanical Garden conservatory and patio to excitedly explore the hands-on demonstrations about producing renewable energy from biological sources. In addition to learning about basic concepts such as the carbon cycle and how woody biomass such as trees and grasses can produce biofuels, they also learned about the technical and economic obstacles to a bio-based fuel economy.
Seventh-grade teacher Shantavius Stokes said that Bioenergy Day helps the students understand the science of energy, which connects their classroom studies about global conflicts with what they learn about energy sources and production. But just as important, he said, the annual Bioenergy Day provides “a personal connection to researchers and students in their own community who conduct research on energy.”
UGA’s Bioenergy Systems Research Institute sponsored the event with collaboration from the BioEnergy Science Center, the Office of Sustainability as well as the UGA Office of Service-Learning and the State Botanical Garden, two public service and outreach units.
Interactive exhibits were developed by staff from the BioEnergy Science Center and the Creative Discovery Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and departments from across UGA. Faculty, graduate students and staff from the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Engineering, the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the Complex Carbohydrate Research Center staffed the event.