High school beer brewing assignment draws controversy

A biology assignment at a Colorado high school involving beer has raised a few eyebrows among parents.

A teacher at Ralston Valley High School in Arvada is asking 15-year-old biology students to study the beer brewing process as part of a lesson on alcoholic fermentation, KDVR.com reported.

The teacher also reportedly offered students extra credit if they toured the Coors Brewery, which has upset some parents who are worried the assignment sends mixed messages.

Adrienne Moerz told KDVR.com she was stunned when her daughter told her about the class. She is particularly concerned about the assignment because her family has a history of alcoholism.

“Their judgment isn’t always what it should be at this age, which is the reason we step in and say, ‘You cannot buy alcohol until you’re 21,’” Moerz said. “I don’t see any reason to teach a 15 year old the steps in brewing alcohol.”

According to 9News.com, the synopsis for the assignment includes a note that reads, "In no way does this assignment promote the use of alcohol, but rather a deeper understanding of anaerobic respiration."

School district officials told 9News.com the alcoholic fermentation class has been taught at the school for the past eight years without any complaints from parents.

A statement released by the Jefferson County School District to news outlets reads, “The teaching of fermentation or, anaerobic respiration, is a Colorado standard taught in biology classes. Teachers make choices in designing the lesson plans which help students meet those standards. While we value the efforts our teachers make to inspire learning in our students, we will be reviewing the assignment in question.”

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