New teacher combines chemistry and card games

Revere welcomes Maggie Bowers to the Chemistry Department

Maggy Messner, News Editor

Chemistry and playing cards have a long shared history. As 19th century chemist Dmitri Mendeleev attempted to organize the elements, he wrote the name of each element on a playing card and then placed the card near others with similar properties. The simple organization of his deck of the 63 then-known elements continued growing, eventually turning into the modern periodic table, now complete with 118 elements. 

Maintaining the relationship between chemistry and cards, Maggie Bowers has joined the science department, teaching Honors Chemistry, AP Chemistry and hosting her own Euchre Club.    

Throughout her lifetime, Bowers has continued to expand her deck of experience. Originally from Cuyahoga Falls, she attended Woodridge High School and later attended Kent State University, where she focused on education, while also earning her master’s degree in chemistry. 

Bowers is starting her sixth year of teaching as she previously taught at Chippewa High School in Doylestown, Ohio. Her extensive experience with chemistry allows her to approach the subject with a new perspective. 

“My main goal is to teach students chemistry and get them excited about chemistry,” Bowers said.

Robert Krisch has been a science teacher for fifteen years at Revere, teaching biology, physical science and astronomy. Although Krisch himself does not teach chemistry, he provides a basic understanding of science for students before they take their mandatory chemistry class. Krisch explained the process of becoming a science teacher.

“You get an undergraduate degree. . . in teaching; and then to be a licensed science teacher, you need to have a large number of credits in a variety of science fields,” Krisch said.

In the process of becoming certified as a science teacher, one chooses either a field of study or a broad combination of all the science fields. When looking for a new chemistry teacher, Revere focused on finding someone who concentrated on chemistry. Head of the science department Jeff Shane has been teaching at Revere for 32 years, where he has helped with the hiring process of new science teachers. 

“There are two basic things we look for. We were looking for someone who had a solid chemistry background. In science you can get certified to teach chemistry, physics or biology, or you can get what is called an integrated [certificate], which means you can teach anything. We were looking for someone with a stronger chemistry background, rather than a little bit of everything,” Shane said.

Instead of simply getting certified to teach chemistry, Bowers went on to get her master’s degree in the subject, something somewhat unusual yet valuable for high school teachers.  

“We were looking for a chemistry person, and she actually has her master’s [degree] in chemistry, which is rare for a high school teacher.[Former chemistry teacher] Mr. Sawan didn’t have it, no one in the department has a master’s in their field. She is the only one, so her chemistry background is amazing,” Shane said. 

Although each field of science has a unique focal point, a thorough understanding of chemistry helps with learning other subjects.

“Chemistry is an extension of the physical sciences, and it is known as the central science because of its centrality to almost any other possible subject. You talk about biology or the oceans and there is chemistry there. There is chemistry in life. There is chemistry in living things. Almost all degrees you would get require an understanding of chemistry,” Krisch said.

Bringing an old game to a new environment, Bowers has started a Euchre, a classic card game, Club at Revere High School, which meets during Minuteman Time. During the first few sessions, Bowers has taught the new students the rules of the game and plans on culminating with a tournament. Bowers explains how the first session went. 

“It was a little chaotic. Most people knew how to play, so I’m thinking towards the end of the session, over the last couple times we meet, we will do a tournament,” Bowers said. 

Learning to play with the hand she has been dealt, Bowers shares how her passions have been altered by both becoming a mother and COVID-19. 

“I had a baby in June, so since I had my baby, I haven’t done much of anything. But before that, I was really big into hiking and kayaking,” Bowers said. 

Although Bowers continues to learn the game of Revere, she is thankful for the kindness of her students and the Revere community. 

“I am super happy to be here. I was really excited when I got this job because I’m from the area, so I know Revere has a great reputation, and I will say so far, I am so impressed with the student body here,” Bowers said. 

Similar to Euchre, Bowers hopes to lead her students to win all five tricks, scoring fives on the AP test.