387639 Where Education and Industry Meet: Lessons from a Trip to India

Thursday, November 20, 2014: 3:15 PM
M106 - M107 (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Katharine Rogers1, Donald Lee2, Jason T. Boock1, Julie Nucci3 and Paulette Clancy1, (1)Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, (2)Chemical Engineering, Cornell, Ithaca, NY, (3)Materials Science and Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

The focus of Cornell University’s, NSF-funded Grass Roots GK-12 Program is to advance research and education in renewable and alternative energy. Through a two-week program in India, in cooperation with the Mumbai-based Somaiya Group, a group of Cornell chemical engineering graduate students and New York State high school teachers explored these ideas at an international level. The trip focused on educating students through inexpensive hands-on activities, visiting energy efficient schools, and learning about the Somaiya Group’s use of biomass as a renewable energy source. Hands-on classroom activities involving physics (hand made centrifuge), chemistry (surface tension lab), and biology (DNA extraction) were presented to eighth and ninth grade students at four schools spread across two Indian states. The Somaiya schools and factories incorporated various renewable energy sources. For example, one rural school was installing a solar concentrator to generate heat for cooking and designing a biodigestor to produce electricity. The biorefineries utilized renewable energy at a larger scale. From sugar cane production, the company produces not only sugar, but also ethanol, specialty chemicals, wax, and electricity from burning bagasse. The processes were interconnected, with waste from sugar production serving as inputs for wax and electricity production. This talk will focus on what we learned from the trip, as well as the benefits of international experiences to education at all levels. 

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See more of this Session: International House of ChE's
See more of this Group/Topical: Education Division