Beyond Benign

Lead Teacher

Kathe Blue Hetter

Skyline High School
Alumnae - Ann Arbor, MI
Years teaching: 21


Hetter, Kathe

How did you connect with Beyond Benign?
I started with Beyond Benign before it existed. I was part of the Green Chemistry curriculum writing team when it was supported by Pfizer and the Keystone Center. When Beyond Benign came into existence it was a natural flow to work with them.

What first drew you into teaching and science education?
I started thinking about teaching while working my first job after university in a lab St. Louis. I started to take classes in the evening working towards my secondary teaching certification. I always liked working with youth as a volunteer which was the spark in getting me to think about teaching. Since I already had the degrees in science, it was a natural fit to go into science education as a second career.

What excites you most about teaching green chemistry?
Being exposed to green chemistry through the Keystone Center really turned on the light bulb for me in the way I was teaching chemistry. A lot of high school chemistry teachers like to get into the “whizz bang” demos without thinking about the toxicity of the chemicals they use. Chemistry and its concepts can be taught without using harmful substances. Exposing students to the tenets of green chemistry and practices that are being used in industry is really the icing on the cake and fits right in with the Next Generation Science Standards. I used the Modeling Chemistry approach in teaching and green chemistry is a perfect fit.

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