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2017 Georgia Teacher of the Year: We need to show students what scientists, engineers do

Georgia 2017 Teacher of the Year Casey Bethel delivered a lively speech at a Tedx event in March that became accessible online this week. You ought to watch it.

A Douglas County high school science teacher, Bethel discussed how few students go on to major in science in college. As a teacher, he realized we can't make kids believe they can become engineers or scientists without exposing them to what engineers or scientists actually do.

His talk, "The Power of Meaningful School-Industry Partnerships," targets schools and industry.

Bethel earned a master’s degree in plant genetics and conducted experimental research at the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies at the University of Georgia. Bethel worked with biochemist Raquel L. Lieberman in her lab at Georgia Tech as part of the Georgia Internship for Teachers program and now takes his students into the lab.

Bethel recently ended his stint with DOE advocating for public education. In June, John R. Tibbetts, an economics teacher from Worth County High School in Sylvester, was named the 2018 Georgia Teacher of the Year

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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.