U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Bioenergy Technologies Office
Student & Educator Resources
The bioenergy-related educational materials on this page can help students and educators prepare for and advance the developing biomass and bioenergy industry and workforce.
The following links are useful to students who are interested in biomass and bioenergy. For more opportunities involving bioenergy educational program opportunities, visit the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center: Bioenergy Programs for K–12 and undergraduate students.
The links below provide biomass and biofuels science fair project ideas:
- What is ethanol and how does it make a car run? This experiment, from Newton's Apple, demonstrates how yeast ferments different types of food.
- Greenhouse Gas Effect: This experiment, from the California Energy Commission, demonstrates how the greenhouse gas effect keeps the earth warm.
- Peanut Power: This experiment, from the California Energy Commission, demonstrates how energy is stored in plants.
- The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has renewable energy and energy efficiency educational resources separated by grade level
Visit the Biomass Basics pages or the Bioenergy Glossary for more information regarding biomass and bioenergy.
Undergraduate and Graduate
The links and information below serve as resources for students at the graduate or undergraduate levels, or students who are looking into pursuing a higher degree in a bioenergy field:
Laboratory analytical procedures (LAPs) are developed in collaboration with NREL. The following NREL and analogous American Society for Testing and Materials laboratory procedures provide tested and accepted methods for performing analyses commonly used in biofuels research. Go to NREL's Standard Biomass Analytical Procedures.
A comprehensive list of bioenergy-related trade groups and non-profit organizations can be accessed on the related links page — some of which are highlighted below:
Renewable Fuels Association (RFA): RFA serves as a vital link between the ethanol industry and the federal government, to promote increased production and use of ethanol through supportive policies, regulations, and research and development initiatives.
National Biodiesel Board: This website provides owners of all types of diesel vehicles—from the driver of a diesel passenger vehicle, to a farmer with diesel equipment, to a fleet manager of hundreds of trucks or buses—with facts and other information about biodiesel, such as the location of fueling stations.
National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition (NVEC): NEVC is a non-profit organization that promotes the use of E85. NEVC involves a wide range of organizations, including state and local interest groups, state and local elected officials, ethanol producers, vehicle manufacturers, and many others.
Green Power Network: The network provides a wealth of information for both the research community and those interested in purchasing "green" energy and products. Learn more about green pricing, state policies, recent papers, and upcoming conferences.
Visit the Publications, Databases, and Analytical Tools sections of this website to explore additional research needs.
The links below are resources for educators teaching bioenergy-related lessons at the K–12 level:
K–12 Energy Lesson Plans and Activities
Visit the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Energy Education page for educational resources, including K–12 bioenergy-related lesson plans and activities.
NREL's Renewable Energy Activities Choices for Tomorrow: A Teacher's Activity Guide for Middle Level Grades 6–8
Bioenergy Lesson Plans
View a PDF of the South Carolina Energy Office's 7–12 bioenergy lesson plans.
Federal Resources for Educators
This site has lesson plans for K–12 educators on bioenergy-related topics.