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OBIC Educational Resources

The lesson plans below were developed by the Ohio Bioproducts Innovation Center (OBIC). OBIC was initiated in 2005 with the goal of connecting different segments of the bioproducts community to nurture business ecosystems and facilitate commercialization of new, sustainable bioproduct technologies. Although OBIC is no longer in existence, it's work lives on.

Composites: Bioresins? Natural Fibers?

Discover how a variety of biomass feedstocks can be used to improve the characteristics and performance of composite materials. (Chemistry) (Grades 6-9)

Don't Waste the Waste

Create a model anaerobic digester to capture and measure biogas production and understand the anaerobic digestion process. (Chemistry) (Grades 1-8)

From Algae to Oil

Algae, a renewable source of biofuel, have great potential to be an alternative to non-renewable sources like crude oil. (Chemistry) (Grades 6-12)

Agriculture in Soap: Plant Oils Matter

Make soap from glycerine, recognize its desirable properties and functions in products to classify glycerine as a by-product from biofuels. (Chemistry) (Grades 1-6)

Extreme Makeover: Landfill Edition

Design a state-of-the-art landfill to be placed within the county that will take into account recycling and composting products. (Chemistry, Earth Science) (Grades 1-6)

Flour and Yeast Do WHAT?

Recognize that starch, proteins, and cellulose are natural polymers found in the grains we use and the food we eat. (Chemistry) (Grades 4-6)

Green at Home

Investigate the emerging bioproducts industry in your home and community. (Chemistry) (Grades 5-8)

Natural Adhesives

Investigate natural alternatives compared to synthetic-based adhesives. (Biology, Chemistry) (Grades 5-12)

Natural Rubber

Explore and investigate an alternative source of rubber. (Physical Science) (Grades 5-12) 

OMG or GMO?

Discover that one of the applications of biotechnology has created issues of genetic modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically modified (GM) foods. (Chemistry, Environmental Science) (Grades 6-8)

Performance Matters

Evaluate and compare the performance of bioproducts and traditional cleaning products using scientific methods. (Physical Science, Chemistry) (Grades 4-8)

PLA Plastic: Shrink Sleeve

Identify reasons to use biobased and biodegradable products in packaging. Students will design a compostability test for PLA packaging. (Chemistry, Earth Science) (Grades 4-8)

Soy Foam: Egg Drop

Recognize and classify products as polymers. Compare the usability of conventional polymers to biobased packaging materials. (Physics) (Grades 4-12)

Soy Foam: Insulation

Identify reasons to choose soy foam insulation over traditional synthetic insulation. (Chemistry) (Grades 4-12)

Soy Ink

Recognize that properties of biomass make them sustainable substitutes in industrial products; test the properties of soy oil and soy lecithin in making ink. (Chemistry) (Grades 6-12)

Soy Lubricant: Benefits of Bioproducts

Investigate the characteristics and effectiveness of bio-based lubricant versus synthetic-based lubricants. (Chemistry, Physical Science) (Grades 6-12)

Starch-based Packing Peanuts 

Recognize and classify products as polymers and compare the usability of conventional polymers to biobased packaging materials. (Chemistry, Physical Science) (Grades 6-12)

Waste to WOW!

Investigate the process of fermentation and anaerobic digestion.  Apply the problem-solving model to a real world problem or product design. (Physical Science) (Grades 9-12)

This project was supported by a Secondary Education/2-Year Postsecondary Education/Agriculture in the K-12 Classroom grant from the United States Department of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture under Award No. 2010-38414-21028.  Any opinion, findings, conclusions or recommendation expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Other resources:

GrowNextGen provides teachers with free, high quality STEM units and lessons that bring agriculture principles and practices into the science classroom. With a primary focus on biology, chemistry, food science and environmental science standards, the site includes e-learning courses and a network of educators and industry leaders to answer questions and provide resources to support the lessons. Career videos and discussion guides describing career pathways allow teachers to give students a look into multiple careers they might not have considered. GrowNextGeb was launched in 2014 with funding from the Ohio Soybean Council and Ohio soybean farmers. 

Agriculture in the Classroom provides activities and tools for teachers to utilize in their classrooms and laboratories. Instructors can find lesson plans and designed experiments for students. Developed by the United States Department of Agriculture.