COC Professor Gives Audience Science Lesson on Reality Television

by Amy Lopez, Staff Writer 0

It’s not everyday that teachers get the chance to broadcast their skills to a television audience. But for one teacher at COC, that’s exactly the chance she got when she found herself on an episode of Top Chef Masters.

Heidi Bednar is one of the new faculty members added this year. After being at a community college in Minnesota for a two years teaching general chemistry, environmental chemistry and forensic chemistry and at UCLA as a teaching assistant, she got a job here at College of the Canyons. Joining the chemistry department, she’s currently teaching chemistry 201. She already feels comfortable here at College of the Canyons saying, “I am loving COC, I have never met such a large group of loving people.”

Being a teacher came to her advantage when she got recruited to be a chef’s assistant on Top Chef Masters. Saying about her task given on the show, “I had to teach her very briefly and then after that I had to help her, so I had to help her cook and make and prepare everything which I’m not good in the kitchen so that was definitely another side of things that I wasn’t expecting.” Although she says she’s not good in the kitchen she seemed to really get through to her partner. She used her skills to explain things in “a fundamental level” relating it back to freshmen chemistry.

Ultimately, Mary Sue won the overall challenge. Whipping out a winning pastry dish modeled after the theme of viscosity, the judges were won over.
Bednar’s experience wasn’t just about winning though. She enjoyed being able to influence her audience that science isn’t such a terrible thing. “ I was really excited to be part of something that was making chemistry and science enjoyable and entertaining and trying to get people excited about it through TV,” she said.

Even though Bednar might not return to any realty shows in the near future or at all, you can catch her here on campus making science fun for students.

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