Ethanol Education Begins in the Classroom

FROM THE APRIL ISSUE: RFA President and CEO Bob Dinneen writes about the organization's Ethanol in the Classroom program.
By Bob Dinneen | March 21, 2018

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” — Chinese proverb

I’m a big proponent of education, as it’s the foundation of our society. (And yes, I’d say that even if I weren’t married to a teacher). Based on that notion, the Renewable Fuels Association recently developed an Ethanol in the Classroom course, providing a fun and interactive way for students to learn about the renewable fuel. Why? Because one is never too young to learn about ethanol’s numerous benefits.

The e-learning program is broken down into three levels: third through fifth grades, sixth through eighth grades, and ninth through 12th grades. After selecting the appropriate level, students can choose a vehicle that runs on ethanol and then navigate through four stops. The journey begins with a quick stop at the fuel station where they fill their vehicle with ethanol-blended fuel. While there, students will learn more about ethanol.

At Stop 2, students take a scenic drive through the rolling hills and forest to learn more about the environmental benefits of ethanol. At Stop 3, students take a drive through the rural farmlands to learn more about its economic impact. At Stop 4, students learn more about ethanol’s uses. At each stop, students learn complete activities to see how much they have learned. Once completed, students are congratulated for their achievements and earn an Ethanol Advocate badge.

Students learn how ethanol is made, how it is used to power boats, motorcycles, cars, trucks and lawnmowers, the history of the fuel, and more. For instance, did you know that in 1908, Henry Ford produced a Model T that was designed to be a flex-fuel vehicle, able to run on ethanol, gasoline or a combination of the two? Or that in 2012, EPA approved the use of E15 in all 2001 and later model year vehicles? Learn all that and more in the Ethanol in the Classroom course.

It’s a fun platform for children and young adults to learn about ethanol’s numerous benefits. Today’s children are tomorrow’s drivers. Education is key and we want to make sure everyone, young and old, knows about the environmental, economic and energy security aspects of renewable fuels like ethanol.

Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to know the next generation of drivers not only will recognize ethanol at the gasoline pump, but likely will be inclined to refuel using the clean, renewable fuel? That’s a future I think we can all support.

For more information, click here.

Author: Bob Dinneen
President and CEO
Renewable Fuels Association
[email protected]