TRENTON, N.C. (WNCT) – WNCT continues to honor STEM teachers throughout the summer.
This month we’re in Jones County where our STEM Teacher of the Month is exposing her students to a process they normally see on TV shows.
WNCT’s Angela Green explains how this proves students have what it takes to be scientists, every single day.
“I teach like I’d want my own children taught and the way I would want to learn,” she said.
With 20 years of teaching under her belt, Tammy Wicks is still going strong at Jones Middle School.
“I promise them at the beginning of school if you do what I ask you to do then I will have you ready for high school, not just EOG at the end of the year,” she explained.
After they’ve smashed them into a puree, the students are learning how to extract and isolate DNA from strawberries, using common household products like alcohol and cheesecloth.
“They could see that there’s a lot of DNA in those itty bitty strawberry cells,” said Wicks.
It’s all part of her science class, teaching the students how to be a geneticist of sorts, without the fancy equipment they see on TV.
It’s STEM projects like this that Ms. Wicks says exposes her students to different careers, some that are always changing with technology and time.
“We don’t know what jobs are out there for the future and the students are designing those jobs,” said Wicks.
And that’s why Tammy Wicks is WNCT’s STEM Teacher of the Month.
With the STEM Teacher of the Month honor, Ms. Wicks gets $100 for her classroom. She plans to purchase solar chargers her students can use to charge their cell phones. They will help her students get a better understanding of how solar farms work.