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Carolina STEM Challenge®: Biofuels

$9.95 - $88.80

Product Highlights

  • Explore the production of ethanol biofuel by investigating the effect of enzymes and temperature on the breakdown of starch.
  • High school engineering design challenge with enough materials for 8 lab groups.
  • Carolina Kits 3D®—Lab activity that designs a solution for an engineering problem to support NGSS and 3-dimensional instruction.

3 Product Options


Students study the use of enzymes and microbes to produce ethanol biofuel. They investigate the ability of enzymes to break down starch under different conditions, and they determine the best conditions for using enzymes in ethanol production. Student teams brainstorm, design, build, and test an apparatus to capture and measure gas production during fermentation. They enter their engineered apparatus into a classroom competition, which can be scored using the design challenge scoring rubric. A grading rubric is also provided, facilitating assessment of each design team’s results. Team presentations allow students the opportunity to reflect on their experience and demonstrate their learning in creative ways.

Time Requirement
Teacher prep, 45 minutes. Engineering challenge, approximately 5 class periods.

Digital Resources
Includes 1-year access to digital resources that support 3-dimensional instruction for NGSS. Digital resources may include a teacher manual and student guide, pre-lab activities and setup videos, phenomenon videos, simulations, and post-lab analysis and assessments.

Performance Expectations

Crosscutting Concepts
Influence of Science, Engineering, and Technology on Society and the Natural World

Disciplinary Core Ideas
LS2.B: Cycles of Matter and Energy Transfer in Ecosystems

Science and Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Learning Objectives

  • Investigate the effects of temperature and enzymes on alcohol fermentation.
  • Explore the process of ethanol production for use as biofuel, a renewable energy resource.
  • Design and build an apparatus that measures gas production during fermentation.

Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills
Prior knowledge of renewable energy resources, alcohol fermentation, and environmental science are useful in this experiment.




Questions & Answers