Thermo Fisher Brings Food Science to Life

“Hey Thermo Fisher, what did you do in class today?” are words often shouted across campus during dismissal. As Rich Carey explains the day’s food science activities, student excitement is palpable. In fact, the conversation usually ends with an exclamation along the lines of “I wish I had gotten into that class!” Music to a teacher’s ears, right? But Rich isn’t your average teacher. A Manager of Technical Systems at Thermo Fisher, he volunteers as a “Citizen Teacher” with Citizen Schools.

A student makes notes in the "Ice Scream, You Scream" apprenticeship

In their afternoon “apprenticeship” class, students learn about the science behind food. Through experiments in making ice cream, butter, and other delicious foods, Rich is bringing his love of science to the classroom and helping students develop skills to succeed in high school, college, and a career.

Rich’s ability to generate excitement and enthusiasm in the classroom is part of a long standing passion for teaching. Before beginning his journey as a Citizen Teacher, he has lead groups with his church and lead sessions at local school’s science fairs.

When he heard about Citizen Schools, he was hooked. “My students don’t get the same opportunities as other students. But they have just as much potential. I want to be a part of unlocking that.” Now, his “I Scream, You Scream” apprenticeship is a student favorite, earning envy from students who aren’t in the class.

This month, we are proud to recognize Rich Carey as our Citizen Teacher of the month! Meet Rich...

Students in the "I Scream, You Scream" apprenticeship

What advice would you give to those considering becoming a Citizen Teacher?

“It’s fun! I am an advocate for getting people to see that they need to get involved. Seeing the students’ growth first hand is amazing, and the amount of gratification gained from the experience is incredible.”

What surprised you the most about teaching an an apprenticeship?

“The amount of excitement the students have for the subject. They are like sponges, soaking up everything I’ve said. In fact, students have gone off and used the things that I’ve taught them and applied it to other parts of their schooling. Some of their experiments have even been used in science fairs!”

What was your biggest WOW! moment?

“There were so many moments, it is hard to just choose one. But one that tends to stick out in my mind was the growth of one student in particular. We had a girl who was very, very shy and declared early that she did not want to speak during the WOW! presentation. My co-teacher and I began working with her over many weeks; prepping her and even providing a script for her to directly read from. I am proud to say at both the campus and city-wide WOW!s she did a spectacular job, and didn’t even need the script!”

You can make an impact like Rich by signing up to teach an apprenticeship with Citizen Schools.