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Ms. Ellsmore from Marysville CA is requesting Supplies through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

Chemistry of Alternative Fuels: Biodiesel in Action

My students need a hot plate/stirrer and separatory funnels to make biodiesel while researching alternative energy through chemistry.

  • $963 goal

This project expired on January 9, 2011.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

Concerned chemistry citizens want to get their hands on issues of alternative energy and the environment.

The high school students in my chemistry classes are a creative, thoughtful bunch.

These students, like many of this generation, are concerned, frustrated and feel powerless about the environmental problems facing the planet. The school is located in a rural, low-income area with limited opportunities for young people to be exposed to or involved in alternative energy technology or future jobs in this sector. Although all of the high school classes at the site are taught at a college-prep level, many of the students face obstacles that prevent them from attending 4-year colleges or universities. Some of these obstacles are financing an education, familial obligations, limited skills, and/or they are unconvinced of the benefits of higher education.

My Project

The goal of the bio-diesel project is to expose chemistry students to meaningful, hands-on applications of chemistry that could inspire future careers in science and technology. Using bio-diesel as a learning lens, students will explore combustion reactions, thermodynamics, acid-base chemistry, stoichiometry and making soap from bio-diesel byproducts. The hot plate-stirrer combination will allow students to safely heat and mix the bio-diesel ingredients while being able to control the temperature and mixing speed. The specialized funnels are used to separate the bio-diesel from the glycerin byproducts according to differences in density and solubility. The glycerin can be later made into soap while learning about surfactants. All of the resources requested can be reused for many years in future classes and for other projects. These necessary items will enhance the learning experience and provide a safe way to make bio-diesel in the classroom.

Major benefits of the bio-diesel project are that students will: 1) have significant hands-on experiences applying chemistry concepts 2) build skills using equipment and technology that will benefit them in future careers and college and 3) gain deeper understanding of alternative energy resources and applications.

Learning chemistry by making bio-diesel and researching alternative energy will yield more informed and empowered students ready to tackle important energy and environmental issues.

Ms. Ellsmore
Grades 9-12
More than three‑quarters of students from low‑income households

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4 donors4 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 95 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
HOT PLATE/STIRRER - MDL PC-220 • Sargent-Welch $362.48 1 $362.48
FUNNEL SEPARATORY PP - 250ML • Sargent-Welch $172.80 2 $345.60

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4 Donors


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Project Activity

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