GrowNextGen teacher leader

Wendy Pinta

Biology and Honors Science Research teacher at Upper Arlington High School

Wendy knows a lot about: biology, research

What about teaching excites you?
I’m excited when students come alive because of a connection they’ve made, or something sparks their curiosity, or the unexpected occurs.

What was your “aha” moment when you realized the value of using agriculture as a vehicle to teach science?
My “aha” moment came when I asked students to categorize items I had in the room as being alive or not alive. I had popcorn seeds out at the time. Most put them in the category of “not living.” I then put the seeds in between wet paper towels and a few days later, students—10th graders mind you—were utterly amazed that they began to grow. This coincided with the parent open house, and most parents, too, were surprised. I realized then that there are misconceptions regarding how our food is grown. Since then, we have explored factors that affect seed germination including pH. We made a connection between our results and how acid rain could impact a farmer’s annual yield.