North Coast Teachers Learn HyTEC

HyTEC Manual Cover

Investigating Alternative Energy: Hydrogen & Fuel Cells was published by project partner Lab-Aids, Inc. in March 2011.

SERC had a busy summer working to get the Hydrogen Technology and Energy Curriculum (HyTEC) into high school classrooms. HyTEC is a 2-3 week curriculum developed over the last four years through a partnership between Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley (LHS) and SERC. HyTEC is designed to introduce high school chemistry and environmental science students to hydrogen energy and fuel cell concepts in the course of their regular classwork.

We led two 2-day teacher training workshops at Humboldt State University (HSU) for local teachers and participated in another 2-day teacher training at LHS in Berkeley for teachers from across the nation.

The local workshops reached a diverse set of teachers. Our first, held the last week of June, included three teachers who teach high school chemistry, physics, environmental science and automotive technology. Our second workshop, held in August, was part of the larger week-long Design Your Future (DYF) Teacher Institute. The DYF Institute’s goal is to incorporate engineering into science and math curricula for K-12 students. The 12 middle school and high school DYF teacher participants teach a variety of math and science subjects, including life sciences. These workshops were the first time that HyTEC has been presented to teachers teaching grades lower than high school and subjects other than chemistry and environmental science.

The DYF workshop provided a unique opportunity to create and include an engineering design component in the curriculum. Both workshops gave SERC presenters the opportunity to gauge teacher response for including HyTEC in classrooms where subjects other than chemistry and environmental science are taught. Overall, teacher participants were very positive about HyTEC and are looking forward to incorporating the curriculum into their classes.

Local workshop participants each received a HyTEC electrolyzer/fuel cell experiment set. Teachers will also be able to check out classroom experiment sets from SERC, receive in-class support as needed, and have the option of bringing students to HSU for a tour of our hydrogen fueling station and hydrogen-powered vehicle to see real world applications of hydrogen energy.

SERC is excited about the debut of HyTEC in North Coast classrooms, and we will continue our work with LHS in the coming year to ready the curriculum for a
nationwide debut.