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Mr. J. from New York NY is requesting Other through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Biodiesel; Teaching/Practicing Sustainable Development in NYC

The cost of this proposal is $988, including shipping and <a target="new" href="http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm" onclick="g_openWindow('http://www.donorschoose.org/html/fulfillment.htm', 300, 800, 'fulfillwindow');return false;">fulfillment</a>.

  • $988 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

For students who have grown up with limited access to quality education and limited exposure to the natural world, the New York Harbor School provides a rigorous academic program driven by ecological themes and hands-on studies of the maritime environment. This is a distinct alternative to inner city education in which learning is mostly confined to the classroom, focused on basic subject matter and test preparation, and so often limited by a lack of financial and intellectual resources. Our students are primarily African American and Latino from Bushwick and the surrounding low-income neighborhoods of Brooklyn and Queens. During the 2005/2006 school year at the New York Harbor School, my primary responsibilities will be to teach 10th and 11th grade, Regents-based US and World History. Using the state curriculum as a starting point, we'll also be conducting individualized maritime studies, I-search projects, including analysis of NY/NJ port commerce, maritime culture, and harbor geography. We'll look at the historical development of the global maritime economy and draw conclusions regarding sustainability and environmental impacts. Harbor School students also have full days of fieldwork scheduled weekly in their Harbor Humanities, Marine Technology, and Marine Biology courses. The ultimate aim of the maritime environmental theme is to impassion each student's intellectual curiosity and at the same time provide discipline and focus to carry each student toward higher education and career aspirations. As a means of furthering this model of school as ecological community, I hope to offer a committed core of students the opportunity to plan and construct a biodiesel production system involving the conversion of used vegetable oil into high-grade fuel for diesel engines in automobiles, boats, and generators. Biodiesel, as it is commonly referred to today, is a mixture of 85-87% vegetable oil, 12-14% ethanol or methanol, and lye/sodium hydroxide as a catalyst. Well known in soybean growing regions of the Midwest, biodiesel can be easily produced in small-scale (urban) settings or bought for approximately $2.50/gallon from regional refineries. Biodiesel provides an immediate alternative to fossil fuel dependence, with a 100% reduction in net carbon and sulfur dioxide emissions and significantly reduced levels of soot, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbon, and polycyclic hydrocarbon emissions. Students will learn the chemical and mechanical processes involved in biodiesel production and in turn educate their community members regarding biodiesel's immediate health benefits and long term needs for renewable energy sources. We will also study the historical development of the modern fossil fuel industries. Students in this program will become familiar with the current debate around energy policy, including issues of foreign oil dependence, government subsidies, public/private ownership, macroeconomic policy/price controls, and current environmental imperatives for renewable sources. In conjunction with the Harbor School's science department and chemistry teacher, students will construct a small-scale biodiesel laboratory, in which we'll conduct transesterfication experiments and practice titration with various samples of used oil. After students have become proficient in processing experimental samples, a medium-scale processing plant will be constructed on or nearby the school grounds. Students will be responsible for running their own biodiesel PR campaign, in which they'll be recruiting restaurants and local businesses to serve as providers of used oil and “clients” of the recycling program. Harbor School biodiesel will be used to power a 15hp diesel outboard engine mounted on a flat bottom skiff constructed by last year's 10th graders and/or will go into a yet to be purchased diesel 15-passenger van. This environmental stewardship program is unique in that students and community members have immediate tangible evidence (French fry smell from exhaust pipe!) of the effectiveness of their work and can easily grasp and promote the long-term/systemic benefits of reduced fossil fuel dependence. Costs for this program include all start-up equipment for a biodiesel lab and small-scale processing plant. A summary of the materials and estimated costs is as follows: Biodiesel mini-batch lab including, Digital Scale ($40), Microprocessor PH Meter ($80), hydrometer ($30), blender ($40), Lye ($4/12oz), Methanol ($2.50/gallon), beakers, petri dishes, safety equipement, and misc. lab supplies ($100), total=$304.00 Biodiesel Processing Plant including, 55-gallon industrial mixing tank (free), mixing tank stand ($20), side-mounting chemical mixer from U.S. Plastic Corp. ($338), heater coil ($60), 3/4' CPVC piping ($20), ball valves ($10), thermostat ($3), 10 micron sock filtration system ($300), 1500rpm electric pump ($70), methanol and lye ($38), total=$859.00. Estimated cost of fulfillment is $1163.00.

Mr. J.
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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2 donors2 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 28 students.

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Expand the "Where your donation goes" section below to see exactly what Mr. J. is requesting.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
$0.00
PH METER H2O PRF BNC OAKTON PH • Lab Safety Supply $77.40 1 $77.40
UNDER TANK HEATER 50-60 GAL • Carolina Biological Supply Company $64.25 1 $64.25
PETRI DISH, PYREX,100X10 PK/12 • Sargent Welch $44.00 1 $44.00
BLENDER OSTER 12 SPEED • Nasco $38.92 1 $38.92
SODIUM HYDROXIDE PELL RG 2.5KG • Sargent Welch $38.80 1 $38.80
BEAKER 1500ML 1000, 4/PK • Sargent Welch $31.80 1 $31.80
DIGITAL ELECTRONIC POSTAL SCALE, 5-LB -- Pelouze Digital Postal Scale; 5 lb., Light Duty • Quill Corporation $31.49 1 $31.49
BEAKER, BERZELIUS, 500ML PK/6 • Sargent Welch $25.00 1 $25.00
DISPSBL EYWR CLNNG STA LSS CRD • Lab Safety Supply $22.70 1 $22.70
HYDROMETER 0.700/1.000-70-10 • Sargent Welch $12.29 1 $12.29
BEAKER,PYREX(R),150ML,1000-150 • Carolina Biological Supply Company $3.10 1 $3.10
THERMOMETER WET/DRY • Nasco $2.20 1 $2.20
BEAKER 50ML GRADUATED • Nasco $0.93 3 $2.79

Materials cost

$394.74

Vendor shipping charges

FREE

State sales tax

3rd party payment processing fee

Fulfillment labor & materials

Total project cost

$809.75

Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms

$177.75

Total project goal

$987.50

How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal

$987.50

2 Donors

-$944.71

Donations toward project cost

-$810.00

Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms

-$134.71

Excluded support for DonorsChoose

-$43.09

Still needed View calculationHide calculation

$0.00

Our team works hard to negotiate the best pricing and selections available.

View complete list Show less

Project Activity

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