High School Students Study Beer in Class

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Fox News recently posted an article about riled up parents at a suburban Denver high school. One biology class has a teacher who wants to instruct the students on the beer brewing process as a way to demonstrate the fundamentals of a very important process in nature, fermentation. Alcohol fermentation, according to district officials, has been taught in the class for the past decade. What has really upset some parents, is that extra credit is being offered for anyone who tours the Coors Brewery.

One parent was quoted as being angry with the school offering such instruction due to a history of alcoholism in the family. Her argument was that since the legal age limit for purchasing alcohol is 21, it should not be necessary to teach the students who average 15 years old in age.

I posted an article awhile back about craft beer enthusiasm clubs on college campuses, and how such a club could be perceived as an advocation of underage drinking.  However, teaching young adults about the natural biological process of fermentation seems as normal as, say, teaching a sex education course. Dispensing information about a process or event, and what those impacts are on our lives is what I believe teachers in public schools are hired for. We do not implicate history teachers as advocates for war, despite reviewing many major conflicts over the course of their classes. I’d also argue that teaching a child at an impressionable age of 15 whose family has had a history of alcoholism about how a malty beverage acquires its alcoholic qualities is a very important step to mitigating the possibilities of succumbing to the disease. Having someone who is underage tour a brewery as a means of gaining extra credit may not have been the wisest choice. Despite learning a great deal of information that a tour from one of the brewers would provide, the environment that the student would be in is not an objective one and is certainly an environment where drinking is encouraged. Having the parents of the students be able to judge the students maturity and give consent to a tour could be one way to approach this idea.

Thoughts or comments? Does this teacher go to far? Maybe beer can be an inspiration to a slew of future biologists.

Source: Fox News