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GrowNextGen teacher leader

Erin Molden

Biotechnology CTE Instructor at Kettering Fairmont High School

Erin knows a lot about: biotechnology

Molden would be interested in working with other teachers on the topics of biotechnology, career tech education, genetics, chemistry, STEM, camps, and microbiology. She’s interested in collaborating with other teachers to develop student-led, inquiry-based research projects and labs that really engage students in biotech.

What about teaching excites you?

As long as I can remember, I’ve always enjoyed helping others reach for and achieve their potential. When I was in college, I loved being a tutor for the math and science departments. I remember specifically that an entire calculus class came to me and we worked through re-teaching key concepts that they didn’t understand the first time. To this day when I see them, they thank me for helping them pass the class. As a researcher, I was in charge of training summer interns that would join our lab. I loved watching them go from being completely naive in the lab to being contributing members of our research projects. As a teacher, I enjoy seeing the same light bulbs turn on in my students. Explaining difficult concepts in a way that makes sense to my students so that they can go on and explain them to others is very rewarding. I love to see them take on the teaching role.

How do you help your students make the industry or real-world connection to what they are learning?

In my classroom and lab, I want my students to know that there are real jobs and careers in the world that relate to the concepts and techniques we are learning. To this end I bring in speakers from different industries, schedule intriguing field trips, and share my own experiences from working in the biotech industry. I “grew up” in the medical biotech community so my exposure to agricultural biotech is limited. By attending the GrowNextGen workshops, I now know about the opportunities available to my students in agriculture and am better able to help tailor my courses to help them. I love seeing how the same techniques can be used in so many different fields within the biotech world. I am a big fan of having my students listen to podcasts and read about current events in biotech. My goal is to expose them to as much real-world information as I can, so that they will better understand the topics we learn about in class.

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