ASU-led algae cooperation to host algae workshop

July 10, 2013

The Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation (AzCATI), housed at the Arizona State Unviersity Polytechnic campus, will help to host the second of ongoing, cutting-edge algae training workshops in August on the University of Texas at Austin’s campus.

Following a successful inaugural training workshop on the ASU Polytechnic campus in Mesa, the Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) will once again open its doors to the algae community for a hands-on, interactive algae workshop. From Aug. 19-23, participants will have a chance to get their hands green as they study Algal Culture Management and Strain Selection. A participant of the first ATP3 workshop takes a sample of algae. Download Full Image

ATP3 is a network of open testbeds and evaluation facilities which aim to facilitate innovation, empower knowledge creation and accelerate growth of the emergent algal energy industry. In May, ATP3 specialists hosted a full class of algae researchers and scientists from around the globe for the first of many workshops. See what the participants are saying about the workshops in a video here.

“We are excited to spread the wealth of knowledge that ATP3 has as a collaboration,” said Gary Dirks, director of ATP3, ASU LightWorks and the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability.

Workshop modules will include:

• the collection of field samples (bioprospecting)
• measuring culture density and growth rates
• monitoring cultures for contaminants
• analyzing chemical composition of algal biomass

This workshop is designed for participants interested in the practical applications of algae, as well as advanced students and trainees who would like to obtain a comprehensive overview on the laboratory cultivation and analysis of microalgae. 

The training workshops are informal and participants will be encouraged to ask questions, share information with the group and network. Participants will be provided printed and electronic materials, and a certificate of completion at the conclusion of the workshop.

To sign up, visit The program fee is $1,600 and includes training, materials and three lunches.

ATP3 serves as a learning environment for the next generation of scientists, engineers and business leaders to help accelerate the research and development of algae-based technologies. Its open test bed and evaluation facilities are a hub for research and commercialization of algae-based biofuels and other biomass co-products.

ATP3 is funded through a $15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The partnership is led by the Arizona Center for Algae Technology and Innovation, which is embedded within the Arizona State University College of Technology and Innovation at the ASU Polytechnic campus with support from industry, academic and national laboratory partners.

To learn more, visit

ASU nutrition students help kids crave healthy foods

July 10, 2013

On any given day, the Kitchen Café – ASU’s state-of -the-art learning food lab at the downtown campus – is bustling with activity as nutrition and food service management students learn to prepare, cook and serve meals.

Today is a bit different. ASU nutrition student Amy Christman shows campers how to cook healthy meals. Download Full Image

Most of the eager students watching today’s cooking demonstration and preparing dishes need a stool to reach their cook tops.

“Has anyone had egg drop soup before?” ASU Nutrition and Exercise Promotion student Amy Christman asked.

Seeing one hand pop up, Christman cheerfully exclaims, “Good! A lot of first timers. I promise it’ll be good.”

Christman’s students are here for Camp CRAVE, an interactive summer camp that combines food, fun and fitness. Taught by ASU nutrition students, campers in grades 4-6 learn the importance of healthy living, including how to prepare a nutritious meal by incorporating the new USDA MyPlate guidelines.

“We are excited to bring this program to the community,” said Michelle Miller, Camp CRAVE director and project coordinator for the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion. “ASU students are introducing what they’re learning about health and fitness directly into our community around the downtown campus. It’s linking ASU’s academic world with the community in a very hands-on, health-focused way.”

In its inaugural year, Camp CRAVE was funded by the Virginia G. Piper Foundation and puts ASU’s School of Nutrition and Health Promotion students on the front lines of teaching children who otherwise might not be willing to try nutritious, unique foods about healthy, active lifestyles.

“A lot of the kids aren’t fond of veggies, but I’ve learned that if I can make it colorful and encourage kids to try it, they will,” Christman said.

A typical day at camp involves group exercise and learning about how to prepare a variety of foods such as a Native American dish, a healthier spaghetti sauce and, of course, egg drop soup.

As campers expertly whisk the eggs for their soup, Christman continues her instruction, encouraging the kids to add a variety of veggies to their soup.

“I want peas and carrots!”

“I want everything!”

Through the Kitchen Café experience, students discover healthier alternatives to fried or heavily breaded staples that are often part of adolescent diets. Whether it is with preparation of whole or raw foods, or understanding the alternatives for meal combinations, students come away with a new appreciation of and exposure to different foods. They learn basic kitchen preparation techniques and safety around appliances from Kitchen Café’s Chef Kent. At the end of camp, students took home a recipe book to share with their families.

The curriculum and menu planning was jointly developed by ASU and partners such as Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the downtown Phoenix YMCA. Two sessions of the two week camp were offered this summer with the hopes of adding another session or two next year, and involving more ASU students and community partners.

“This experience has not only enhanced my learning as a health professional, but enabled me to foster relationships within my community,” Christman said. “I can’t wait to see how this program continues to enhance the lives of people within the greater Phoenix area and ASU students alike. The experience was truly unforgettable.”

School of Nutrition and Health Promotion students interested in participating in Camp CRAVE can contact Michelle Miller (602) 496-2218.