Project Sketch Worksheet
Project Title: Generating Clean Energy from Leaves
Funding Source: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and the National Science Teachers Association
Rationale for the project: Each year, during the fall, plants shed tons of leaves that are disposed in one form or another. These leaves having soaked up the “summer sunlight” are potentially rich sources of energy. Our project involves converting this stored energy in leaves to a clean and usable energy product. This project can potentially provide our nation an alternative clean energy source which can positively impact our environment as well as reduce our dependency on fossil fuels.
Goals for the project:
Explanation of project: Plant leaves contain a pigment (chlorophyll) which traps the energy from sunlight, converting it into energy stored in the chemical bonds of plant materials, including leaves. By using a chemical process such as fermentation, these bonds can be broken. The energy released in this process can be converted to other useful forms of clean energy.
Project Location: This project will be conducted in one of our school laboratories, room #24, located in our school basement. This location was chosen since students can access the projects without disrupting regular school activities. Additionally this location has the space required for movement and storage of large quantities of leaves, large vats and other equipment for experimentation.
Timeframe: This project is estimated to be completed within one year with possible ongoing cycles beginning each fall and continuing throughout the school year. The fall months (September and October) will be relegated to the collection and suitable storage of our raw materials (leaves). In late fall and winter (November through February) work will be done in our laboratory and research spaces. In early spring and summer (March through August) our product will examine, tested and revised for new approaches in the next fall cycle.
Sustainability: It is our goal to make this project self supportive. We believe that our products and ideas can have far reaching possibilities for clean sustainable energy and consequently will attract sponsorship from the business community, government agencies, research organizations and others.
Planned Activities: At the beginning of the school year (fall semester) our students, equipped with the required permissible documentations and equipment will embark on “leaf collection missions” to the parks and other locations. As the year progresses, work will be done in researching and performing energy conversion activities. Throughout the year, students will engage in mentoring workshops with middle and elementary school students where the goals and progress of their project will be discussed. The purpose of this outreach is to sensitize younger students about the positive impact science can have on our environment.
Staff Members & Responsibilities: As outlined in the request for the proposal the four science teachers profiled below will be involved in this project.
Hires: No hires are needed for this project. Students and staff participation is completely voluntary.
Leveraging/ Cost sharing: As part of Benjamin Franklin High school plan to promote excellence in science, through the auspices of our principal, we have established positive working relationships with our neighboring colleges and schools. We intend use lab facilities from our community of schools to reduce cost associated with equipment for this project. Additionally, we hope to use part of our school funds allocated for science to supplement the cost of miscellaneous items.
Budget Elements: To meet our budgetary needs we need to purchase 20 storage bins for leaves, 10 blenders, 10 large containers for mixing and filtering sludge, 2 vats for fermenting mixture, 5 pH monitors, 5distils, 5 fuel testing kits, 5 distils.
Evaluation Plan: The success of this program will be determined from quantitative and qualitative measures of students’ interest and participation in the project. Our current science team, consisting of 25 students, will spear head the project. Open invitations will be extended to our school population. The projects goals, plans and expectations will clearly articulated to all stakeholders. At the several points in process increase in number of participants along with their depth of interest and involvement will be monitored noted and compared.
Outside Partners: Experts in the field, from neighboring colleges and universities, will be sourced for advice and guidance. The business community and local government will be approach for support and promotional possibilities. As our project progresses students from neighboring middle schools will be given guided practice in through mentorship outreach programs.
Other Possible Sources for Funding: Business community, parents, university partners and local governmental organizations.
Detailed Itemization of Our Overheads along with Projected Costs: