The most exciting thing about teaching is seeing students make connections between real-world phenomenon and science principles. It’s fun to see learning occur whether it’s in the classroom or right here at home. For instance, I just explained to my 21-year-old daughter the connection between polar and non-polar substances and surfactants. I demonstrated by putting dishwashing liquid in a greasy pan, and it made complete sense to her. This kind of teaching can make a real difference for students!
The best way to make industry or real-world connections is to bring industry folks into the classroom or go to visit on a field trip. I have connected students to technical careers through our trips to wastewater treatment plants and anaerobic digesters, and to food science careers by bringing in a speaker from the Ohio State University.