Indiana Area Senior High School

Smart Science Teachers


In keeping with the “theme” of my past articles on IHS teachers, I have decided to ask Science teachers some questions because Science teachers are really important in students’ lives.  And since all the science teachers teach their classes so I figured why not get to know them better.  And maybe in the end we can learn what these IHS Science teachers like or don’t like.

QUESTION 1: Have you ever had a class pet?

Mrs. Huntsman- “I have never had a class pet”

Mrs. Dress- “Yes, tarantula, corn snake, gecko, glo fish, stick insects.

Mrs.Hixson- “Currently have several classroom animals. Malachi is the class corn snake, there are also African cichlids, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, and stick insects.”

Mrs Janetski- “I have not had a class pet, but I have brought my pet from home (a snake) to share with my students.”

Mr.Waryck- “We once had a turtle and now have a corn snake”

Mrs.Betta- “I have never had a class pet.”

Mrs. Walton- “No.” 

Mr.Lehman- “I have several goldfish here year round and this is the first year I have hatched and raised about a hundred brook trout as a part of the trout in the classroom program.”

Mrs. Edmonds- “I have a corn snake–Eugene. I have a bearded dragon–Larry. I have fish.”

QUESTION 2: What is your favorite thing to teach, and why?

Mrs. Huntsman- “Chemistry!  But I do have a favorite chapter.  I love teaching the Periodic Table Chapter.”

Mrs. Dress- “DNA and Genetics…I love teaching about the molecules that make us who we are.”

Mrs. Hixson- “Genetics, It is easy to connect to students as we all want to understand more about ourselves and are curious why we have the traits we do.”

Mrs.Janeski- “That is a very hard question!  I love both of the subjects I teach–biology and environmental science.  I think I would have to say that ecology is my favorite subject to teach.  I love explaining the intricate details that make the world around us!”

Mr.Waryck- “The Evolution unit and the DNA unit are my two favorites because of misconceptions and misunderstandings students have about evolution and the somewhat practical applications of DNA research.”

Mrs. Betta- “My favorite thing to teach is Forensic Science because I enjoy teaching students how to analyze evidence using science to solve a good mystery.”

Mrs. Walton- “Physical and Chemical Changes. Students get to realize how many chemical reactions they experience on a daily basis.”

Mr. Lehman- “I like teaching almost all aspects of physics.  Once you know a little, you look around your everyday life and see that the concepts of physics are at play all around and knowing why is really fun.”

Mrs. Edmonds- “I love teaching about the human body just because there are so many amazing things your body does on a daily basis, that you don’t even realize or consider.”

QUESTION 3: What is your least favorite thing to teach, why

Mrs. Huntsman- “My least favorite thing to teach is probably different types of mixtures”

Mrs. Dress- “Macromolecules of Life…It is often difficult to relate the importance of understanding the structure and function of molecules (proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids) to students and students often struggle to visualize and understand that level of biological organization. ”

Mrs.Hixson- “Osmosis. Hypertonic, Hypotonic, and Isotonic solutions confuse everyone!”

Mrs. Janeski- “I don’t enjoy the physical sciences as much.  I like teaching about living things.”

Mr.Waryck- “My least favorite thing to teach is the separate Career, College, Employment Readiness Class because I have always felt I worked hard to cover many of those aspects in my regular classes, I never get to know those students to work with them as individuals, and CCER students have a great disinterest in the material they are given.”

Mrs. Betta- “My least favorite thing to teach is CCER because I only see students once a week and it is hard to develop positive relationships in that short amount of time.”

Mrs. Walton- “Elemental Families.  It is just memorization and very little application to students on a daily basis.”

Mr. Lehman- “Modern Physics is my least favorite because it isn’t concrete.  We don’t have the ability to observe radioactive decay/relativity etc so the topic is very conceptual and less practical at the high school level.”

Mrs. Edmonds- “I don’t know if I have a “least” favorite. I enjoy parts of everything I go over..maybe not the entire concept. ”

QUESTION 4: What is your favorite Experiment/Lab to do?

Mrs.Huntsman- “My favorite lab to do is the Murder Mystery Lab or the Chemical Reactions Lab.” 

Mrs.Dress- “Mexican jumping bean lab.  It sparks curiosity in students and allows them to use the scientific method from start to finish to answer a biological question that they chose.  It also is a great example of applying the characteristics of life to determine if something is a living thing.”

Mrs. Hixson- “Dissecting Frogs.”

Mrs.Janeski- “I enjoy dissolving eggshells to teach about osmosis. They look like bouncy balls.  It is a fun demonstration!”

Mr.Waryck- “I have always liked the Respiration vs exercise lab in which students design their own question about energy needed for different exercises and the pond water exploration lab discovering microscopic organisms in water from a local source.”

Mrs.Betta- “My favorite labs are any of the fingerprinting labs in Forensics.  It is fun to see how excited students get when they get the chance to analyze and lift their own fingerprints.”

Mrs.Walton- “The Limiting Reactant Pudding Lab, kids have fun and get to eat the product”

Mr.Lehman- “The last lab of the year is building air-powered rockets.  The class hand-builds their own rocket and after a brief discussion on the physics we go out and launch them.  We take a few measurements on the flights.  We do slow-motion videos of the launches so we can see how they fly and if they explode, why.”

Mrs.Edmonds- “I love doing the bioengineering lab sequence…it is just “high-tech” it makes students feel like “real” scientists. ”

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