BioRenewables Lesson Plans

Jim Bruner | Mezzacello The Bioreactor with the Water Purification Tower

Welcome to the Mezzacello 2023 BioRenewables Lesson Plans page. Here you will find the suggested lessons, activities, design challenges, plans and resources for running the BioEngineering summer camp at Mezzacello. If you would like to sort through other lessons, simply click here.

Day One:

Introduction to Mezzacello and BioRenewables

  1. LESSON: Farm Systems – Layout and Systems of the farm and safety protocols
  2. ACTIVITY: Nature, Engineering, and Problem Solving
  3. Design Challenge: Duct Tape Trivia
  4. Design Challenge: Build a Gate

  1. LESSON: Team Building – Types of Engineers
  2. ACTIVITY: Leadership Roulette
  3. Design Challenge: Team Identity
  4. Design Challenge: STEM Identity
  5. Video: How Power is created

  1. LESSON: Layers of Reality – A fun way to introduce the STEM in #UrbanAgTech by creating a model for the way the world works through art and lecture.
  2. ACTIVITY: Create a Nested Doll Set
  3. Design Challenge: Build an Atom

Day Two

Webs of Life and Pressure

  1. LESSON: Webs of Life – a quick review of where in our world we interact with Atoms and why.
  2. ACTIVITY: Three Systems to Understand Mezzacello
  3. Design Challenge: Water and Air Pressure
  4. Design Challenge: Phases of Matter

  1. LESSON: Under Pressure – How pressure is everywhere and seemingly nowhere and why
  2. ACTIVITY: Building a Water Evaporation System in the Biodome
  3. Design Challenge: Build a Chicken Feeder and Waterer

Day Three:

Biomimicry and Pattern, Process, and Structure

  1. LESSON: The Circle of Life – a crash course into Applied STEM and Math integration in Ag and in STEM.
  2. ACTIVITY: Break a complex problem into simple machines – explore the six simple machines at Mezzacello.
  3. Design Challenge: Explore all aspects of pressure (physical, electrical, emotional, social)
  4. Design Challenge: Identify a Reframe of a Simple Problem

  1. LESSON: As Above; So Below – a reminder that life is sophisticated and deeper than we want to acknowledge, but is essentially Yin and Yang with a boundary layer.
  2. ACTIVITY: Fear, Anxiety, Failure, and Confidence emotional pressure
  3. Design Challenge: Air, Water, Earth, Fire– the way energy propagates across our experience

Day Four

Careers and Why Engineering Matters on a Farm

  1. LESSON: Career Crossover – Allows students to reflect on what they have observed and how it impacts their curiosity and their future.
  2. ACTIVITY: Being an Engineer: Three problems to solve
  3. Design Challenge: Team Algorithm
  4. Design Challenge: Interview for Your Future Job

  1. LESSON: Public Speaking 101
  2. ACTIVITY: Discuss and whiteboard with your team what your video will be
  3. Design Challenge: Assign Random Roles
  4. Design Challenge: Create a Bio dome

Day Five

Presentation Day

  • Finish Your Product Development
  • Prep for Presentation
  • Present your Final Presentation

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