Balancing chemical equations or finding the molar mass of Ammonium bicarbonate aren’t priorities in the lives of most people, but for David Tweeten, Minnehaha Academy’s new science teacher, it’s part of his daily life. This year, Tweeten is excited to become part of the Minnehaha community and has enjoyed his first few weeks of teaching chemistry, AP Chemistry and foundations of physics.
“[I have] really had a wonderful experience here so far,” said Tweeten. “The faculty and staff are extremely helpful in learning what Minnehaha is about and the students are just exceptional.” Although Tweeten is just getting to know the procedures at Minnehaha, he has been teaching chemistry courses for the past 10 years at both Harding High School and Coon Rapids High School and is enjoying many of the changes that he’s found at Minnehaha.
“I’ve not been in a school before where all the students have had ipads, and some of the things we’ve been able to do with them have been really cool,” said Tweeten. “The small size of the class is also very helpful for getting to know the students better.”
Another major change that Tweeten has experienced this year is the switch to the AP Chemistry curriculum from his previous International Baccalaureate (IB) teaching experience. However, Tweeten stresses that the differences between the two are minimal and that almost all of his IB experience will be directly applicable to his AP class.
Tweeten has been interested in chemistry ever since he was in high school and, after majoring in chemistry at Bethel University and going on to receive a doctorate in the field, Tweeten began working at 3M where he was introduced to teaching.
“While I was at 3M I did some teaching,” said Tweeten. “We had a program called [the] Science Training Encouragement Program, and in that program we brought St. Paul [high school] students into 3M and taught them some lessons which really piqued my interest in teaching chemistry.”
Tweeten’s experience at 3M began his passion for teaching and, in the few weeks he’s been at Minnehaha, he is already enjoying teaching here and is looking forward to the rest of the year.
“I feel [teaching at Minnehaha] has been a tremendous blessing to me personally to have been here even for two weeks,” said Tweeten. “I feel like it’s revitalized me as a teacher and in my daily life as well.”