Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Bioenergy classes focus on elementary students, parents

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 23, 2009 — A program to educate elementary school students and their parents about the importance of bioenergy for the future has been undertaken in a joint effort by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Creative Science Museum of Chattanooga.

Brian Davison of ORNL's Biosciences Division says the program is quickly gaining popularity.

"Bioenergy is trying to use renewable resources such as plant materials, trees, grasses and corn to try to make the fuels and energy that we need to power our society," Davison says. "We began this a year ago and they've already done over 100 outreach lessons in various Chattanooga area schools. We're now working with them to expand this further into Georgia and Tennessee."

Oak Ridge's Linden Elementary School recently hosted separate bioenergy sessions for students and parents. Davison says the program is full of entertainment, but much information can be learned, as well.

"They have fun playing with the alternative vehicle cars and grinding up the corn," Davison says. "They do get the basic principles behind what we're trying to talk about here, including sustainability, the importance of limited resources being able to come from plant materials."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy.