SERC Presents “Fuel Up with Hydrogen” Workshop for GATE Academy

GATE Academy students use a hydrogen fuel cell to power a fan and pass a flaming splint over a test tube to test for hydrogen gas.

GATE Academy students use a hydrogen fuel cell to power a fan and pass a flaming splint over a test tube to test for hydrogen gas.

Every January, local K-8 students converge on HSU for the annual GATE Academy. This event, coordinated by the Humboldt County Office of Education’s Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program, provides GATE students with exciting learning opportunities not typically found in the classroom. SERC has participated in the GATE Academy since 2005.

This year, SERC docents Greg Pfotenhauer and Yaad Rana led 6th-8th grade students through an engaging and interactive hydrogen fuel cell lab activity. Using HyTEC equipment, students electrolyzed water to produce hydrogen fuel. They then used this hydrogen to run a fuel cell and operate a small fan. The lab activity began with a brief introduction to hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells, and the role hydrogen may play in our energy future. To bring the topic of hydrogen fuel out of the lab and into the real world, the workshop culminated in a tour of the HSU Hydrogen Fueling Station and Toyota FCHV-adv fuel cell vehicle.

 

About Allison Hansberry

As Operations Manager for the Schatz Center, Allison is responsible for program administration. Her work includes planning, analyzing, and evaluating the Center's fiscal and operational policies and procedures and providing assistance with and leadership in pre-and-post award grant and contract management. Allison also oversees the Center's education and outreach program and works with the Outreach Coordinator to develop renewable energy programs. Allison graduated from Humboldt State University with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies, Botany minor. Her degree combines the disciplines of Environmental Science, Appropriate Technology, and Sustainable Agriculture. When not engaged in work and raising a family, she pursues her interest in native bees, plant/pollinator interactions, and climate change impacts on phenology. Allison joined SERC in 2001.