Colorado teacher has students brew beer to learn fermentation process

(CNN/KDVR) - A high school teacher in Colorado has coming under fire for introducing a unique way of teaching a standard scientific lesson that at least one parents finds to be inappropriate.

The teacher, who works for the school system in Jefferson County, Colo., was teaching students about the process of fermentation, and to do so, the example being used was how to brew beer.

That didn't sit well with Adrienne Maerz, a parents of a student in the class. She says that the assignment directed students to become familiar with all the steps of the beer-brewing process.

"(It's) basically a how-to guide, in my opinion, on how to make your own alcohol," Maerz said.

Students also earned extra credit for visiting and touring the Coors brewery in nearby Golden, Colo.

Despite the assignment coming with a disclaimer saying that the teacher and school officials don't promote drinking, Maertz thinks that it's hurtful for some families, including hers, which has struggled with alcoholism.

"I don't think it's fair to put students in a position that they have to do work that may be triggering or upsetting to them," she said.

In a statement, Jeffco Public Schools officials say that the teaching of anaerobic respiration - or fermentation - is a "Colorado standard taught in biology classes" and that teachers make choices in designing their own lesson plans.

However, administrators say that they'll be reviewing this specific assignment, which several students have opted out of in lieu of an alternate assignment.