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Henry Ford and George Washington Carver team up to make bio-based products

How do scientists and engineers work together to solve problems?
Scientists and engineers work together to “industrialize” the use of agriculture products. Oil and protein from plants can be turned into many products. Design some new products using items from around your house. Then use soy protein to create a new bio-based material. This activity is one of several from a 4H Agriscience Biotechnology Series. See teacher background →

# Making Biobased Products

Use an Observation Log to innovate with a box of junk. Use a recipe to make a biobased product out of tofu and newspaper and think about a new use for this material. Learn about how Henry Ford and George Washington Carver teamed up to make biobased products out of soybeans.


Teacher background

Bio-based products come from plant or animal products. Experimentation with various processes to change the physical properties of the materials can create new physical properties. For example, heat coagulates protein. You have enjoyed coagulated protein when you eat a burger from the grill or a boiled egg. The same process of heating protein in tofu produces a bio-based product.

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Next gen science standards

Science and engineering practices

  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)

Crosscutting concepts

  • Cause and effect

Disciplinary core ideas/content

  • ETS2 Links among Engineering, technology, science and society
  • ETS2A Interdependence of science, engineering and technology
  • ETS2B Influence of engineering, technology and science on society and the natural world