Best Chemistry Inspiration

Students cherish this Wichita teacher for taking chemistry out of textbooks.

from Reader's Digest Magazine | May 2005

Wichita Collegiate School chemistry teacher Janice Crowley makes “one-fourth” of what she did as a phone-system salesperson in Wichita — but the city’s teens are richer for it. In her classroom, she explains acid-base properties to students by having dentists tell them what bulimia does to teeth. In 20 years she’s trained many young scientists, including Chad Cowan, a Harvard researcher who’s been in the news for his pioneering work on stem cell lines. Students cherish her for taking chemistry out of textbooks. “Kids want to hear the stories first,” she says. “Then you rope them in.”

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