DYF Teacher Institute II Tuesday

Posted in Dyf at 10:37 pm by Beth

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Byron and Maggie with their fuel cell and electrolizer.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells!

Phil arrived today and Sheryl introduced the other participants to him.

Brandie administered the HyTech Pre-assessment.

Ken shared an exercise in thinking out-of-the-box.

First hour talking about  Minute Papers from the  previous day.  Our topics included Thursday project ideas, the limits of mathematics education, and clarification on the design process.

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Our instructors Right to Left: Jim, Andrea and James

We moved to Science D 9 and Ellen introduced participants to Jim and Andrea.  Later James joined to help teach as well.

Jim presented overview of HyTech Curriculum along with ideas of how to purchase more KOH solution.  He showed a short “teaser” video.
Andrea Allen introduced Activity 2, which was learning how to set up the electrolizer.  Participants made hydrogen and oxygen.  The participants ignited the hydrogen and oxygen! The hydrogen made a nice pop.  The oxygen was harder to ignite.  Participants asked for bigger test tubes for the oxygen.  People discussed using longer matches vs longer sticks.

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Erin calculates the efficiency and drops a factor of 10.

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Jim finds a zero on the floor... Errin must have dropped it!

After lunch, participants learned how to use the hydrogen they generated to run their fuel cell in Activity 3. Participants calculated efficiencies. Errin dropped a zero when calculating the efficiency… it was found on the floor –


After the afternoon break  participants moved to Science D computer lab and learned fuel cell electro chemistry in Activity 4.  They reviewed the Lewis Dot diagram for H2O, balanced the related chemical equations,  viewed online simulations (1) (2), used the physical model included in the HyTEC curriculum and touched actual pieces of PEM fuel cell.

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Jim teaching electro chemistry in Science D computer lab.

 In the reflecting on how the curriculum could be used in the classroom, particpants brought up the following issues:

  • How does the curriculum fit in middle and high school CA science standards?
    • Folks discussed  the use of the standards as well as the STAR CST Blueprints.
    • Folks also discussed that the time after STAR testing is a time when interesting and useful activities that are not directly related to the standards can be presented.
  • How to make renewable important to students in Hoopa?
    • Some have asked why burn something you can run out of, which will also help you make plastic heart valves?
    • Global climate change has contributed to snowpack loss and its impact on Trinity River flowss
    • Look up NEED for curriculum.  Lots of free classroom equipment and grants.

Minute Paper

Most Important thing learned

  • Fuel cell chemistry and standards tie-ins
  • How fuel cell works (4) and collecting hydrogen
  • How to put together an electrolyzer to produce energy (2)
  • Learning by doing rather than reading.
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Vince and Brooks ignite hydrogen generated by their electrolizer.

Remaining Questions

  • What is Gibbs Free Energy?
  • How to modify to fit in 7th grade standards and topics of pre-algebra and life science?
  • How to demonstrate how fossil fuels are bad for the environment.
  • How far are Schatz folks willing to travel?
  • What is more efficient – combustion or hydrogen fuel cell car?
  • In a large scale fuel cell, where does the water go?


  • Good useable info about fuel cell basics
  • Great fuel cell kits
  • Both presenters clear and straight forward.
  • Tremendous amount of thoughtful curriculum and materials (2) – “like Christmas for a science teacher”!
  • Very fun! – Loved hands-on
  • Great activities

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