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Science teacher, students share importance of systems, structures

Teaching at Fresno Christian for five years, Scott Bucher aims to help students acquire a better understanding of chemistry and how to enjoy it.

Sarah Smith | The Feather Online

Scott Bucher teaches many different courses at FCS, including: AP statistics, AP calculus, physics and chemistry.

Bucher began teaching at a young age, as a Sunday school teacher. When the time came to pursue a career, Bucher looked to family and friends for advice for what he should do. Nearly everyone he sought out encouraged Bucher to become a teacher.

“When I got done with college and I wanted to decide on a job, I actually went and asked a whole bunch of people ‘what do you think I should do?’” Bucher said. “Almost everybody said ‘you should be a teacher,’ including my dad, which kind of surprised me because I didn’t expect that from him.” 

Attending Biola University, Bucher majored in physics in attempts to challenge himself by taking the hardest courses.

“I majored in physics and the reason I majored in physics, believe it or not, was because it was the hardest major,” Bucher continued. “I actually found it to be fairly simple to do history or English, not that I would’ve been great at it, but those were not hard courses, and I thought as long as I’m taking something, I may as well do something that challenges me.”

Chemistry involves various subjects and activities, which include labs and demonstrations done by Bucher. Alexis Baker, ‘21, shares her favorite lab and demonstration presented this school year.

“The most memorable lab is probably the ‘Beanium’ lab, mostly out of the fact it involved no chemicals whatsoever,” Baker said. “My favorite demonstration is probably when Mr. Bucher put a chemical in a liquid and it was so bright you couldn’t look directly at it.”

Mackenzie Beckworth, ’21, enjoyed the “Beanium” lab as well. It was an excellent time for her and her lab partners, where they learned and had fun with it.

“The most memorable lab was when our table was counting small beans” Beckworth said, “we kept losing count and it was funny.”

The chemistry class is currently working on the gas laws, which Bucher enjoys most due to the many demonstrations that occur.

“I do enjoy the unit we’re in right now which is the gas laws, and primarily because of all the demonstrations that go along with those,” Bucher said. “There’s a lot of favorites in chemistry, I like going out and blowing up the bottle, which we do here pretty soon, there’s another one where we actually show how much space a gas actually takes up, and I really like this silver nitrate lab where we grow silver crystals.”

In the following podcast, Celeste Castaneda interviews Scott Bucher on the importance of chemistry.

Chemistry builds up unit by unit; one thing Bucher sees students struggle with, is whether or not they are able to pass a unit if they were unable to understand the last one. 

“Chemistry you’ve got to be able to put together a whole bunch of things,” Bucher continued, “you need to really understand topics, a lot of students just want to just get through a unit, but everything builds and if you don’t understand it, the next chapter doesn’t get easier, it gets harder.”

Beckworth often finds chemistry to be difficult, but continues to work hard and eventually gained an understanding of the unit.

“I struggle with almost everything,” Beckworth continued, “but the one thing I really strived for was stoichiometry, and I ended up getting it after a while.”

Sarah Smith | The Feather Online

Chemistry teacher, Scott Bucher, leads students in making dry ice bombs, Feb. 13

Bucher sets goals for himself in hopes of accomplishing them by the end of the year for each chemistry class he teaches.

“My goal is that they know chemistry, but there’s a second goal and that is that they enjoy chemistry,” Bucher said. “I try and draw the balance where there’s enough that’s interesting and enjoyable that they want to be in the class, and yet at the same time at the end of it feel like they actually know chemistry. And probably a third goal would be when they get to college that they are able to succeed in a college chemistry class.” 

Students in the class often set goals for themselves as well. Beckworth shares what she hopes on accomplishing in chemistry by the end of the year.

“I hope to develop better study habits by the end of the year,” Beckworth said, “even if I’m not particularly interested in chemistry.”

Baker gives her opinion on why it is significant to be educated in the chemistry area, regardless if you plan on pursuing a science career or not.

“I think it’s important to know how our world works,” Baker said, “chemistry is a big part of that, it explains the tiny components most don’t think about.”

Beckworth shares a similar opinion with Baker

“It’s important to know chemistry because it helps you understand the world you’re living in,” Beckworth continued. “Everybody should have a basic understanding of it.”

Bucher shares why he believes chemistry is important to know, how it applies to our everyday lives and how it can help us understand real life situations.

“Well our whole world is based on things, and things are what chemistry studies,” Bucher continued. “One example right now would be the whole global warming thing; if we know a little bit about chemistry, it helps you to understand what people are saying at a high school level. It’s probably not enough to be truly informed, but that’s why I like to hopefully inspire kids to go and take more chemistry.”  

For more information on the importance of chemistry and chemical safety, Bucher can be reached via email

For more articles, read COLUMN: China-born senior reviews local Chinese food in Fresno area or Book Review: The Escape Artists.

Celeste Castaneda can be reached via email.

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