GrowNextGen teacher leader

Kelly Lewis

Program Instructor, Bioscience Technologies at Eastland-Fairfield Career & Technical Schools

Kelly knows a lot about: stem, biotechnology

Other teachers are welcome to contact me about Biotechnology, genetics, camps, microbiology, and HOSA Future Health Professionals.

What about teaching excites you?

I love the excitement of watching the students either learn something new or finding out more information about a topic. In high school, it is all about digging deeper into subject matter and finding a way to better engage students. I love the challenge, and most importantly, I love to see the growth throughout the year. It is awesome to watch them go from their first day, not being familiar with the equipment, to later being able to talk like a pro about what we do in our class!

What was your “aha” moment when you realized the value of using agriculture as a vehicle to teach science?

Taking a workshop at GrowNextGen several years ago helped me make a connection to use the biotech skills in health units to introduce Ag. The skills are the same, and I realized that students (especially the suburban students I had) were woefully misinformed about not only where their food came from, but the biotechnology that goes into creating their food. As an environmental science teacher for many years, we discussed the concerns with the growing population and lack of space in my classes. The GNG curricula helps students see a connection between their environment and the changing population and gain a greater appreciation of agriculture.

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

I have many speakers throughout the year in a variety of industries speak to my classes. I also try to go on at least two college field trips a year. Last year we toured OSU Ag and Food Science. We also do a Senior project, and many students secure mentors or do their project in labs located outside of a high school classroom. This current school year, my senior students mock-interviewed with people from industry to better prepare for their capstone.