Hannibal eighth-graders explore algae production

Dennis M. Kenney Middle School students recently explored algae production as a potential sustainable solution for several environmental issues facing the planet.

Christine Lamont’s living environment class conducted experiments, analyzed data, measured growth and learned about the global benefits of algae production. Throughout the five-day “Algae Academy,” students learned about the power of algal production to reduce greenhouse gases, provide a food source and create opportunities for homegrown biofuels.

“Most of us experience algae as a problem in fish tanks, while in reality, it is one of the most important sources of the oxygen we breathe,” Lamont said. “In the near future, algae may become an important resource for us all in biofuels, as an alternate source of nutrition, and as a potential source for organic fertilizers.”

Lamont said she hopes the Algae Academy gave students greater confidence in their ability to be scientists.

“It’s important for students to do science rather than just learn about it,” she said. “This kind of hands-on activity allows them to be scientists: observing, asking questions and collaborating.  It engages student and allows them to see science as a creative process rather than a textbook they need to study.”