Youth of the Industry

High schools see biodiesel as an important sector of education
By Bryan Sims | February 09, 2011

From Heritage High School in Washington to Galway High School in New York, a growing number of secondary schools across the country have incorporated biodiesel curriculums within their education programs, and many more are considering them. Students and faculty members recognize biodiesel as being a viable alternative fuel and state officials are listening.

On Jan. 14, Sen. Maria Cantwell toured Heritage High School’s biodiesel lab in Vancouver, Wash., in an effort to encourage student interest in science, technology, engineering and math education. According to principal Anne Sosky, the school’s biodiesel lab is a culmination of two years of work by its students and faculty who participated in designing the processors, which are capable of producing batches of biodiesel from used cooking oil supplied by area restaurants.

“[The processors] couldn’t be something that you push a button because it’s not a learning experience,” Sosky says. “The whole idea that got kids hooked were that they built the biodiesel processor. We said we wanted it to be a processor that kids think about and work on so they have ownership in the learning experience.”

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