Pat Seta

Lower School Science Teacher

Fast-talking science teacher Pat Seta jokes that she has been in the fourth grade “forever.” Although she has taught the same subject since 1986, she researches new ways to present the content to keep it current and fresh. Her kids are engaged in the curriculum because they develop their own theories to test. “As I’m going along, there’s something different with each class -- something that comes up in that class,” she says. “I am always searching and looking for ways to make it different and better. It never stays the same, not even in the same day.”

Even though she is a vegetarian and an avid cook, Ms. Seta had never grown so much as a tomato when she decided to teach her students about environmental stewardship and nutrition by gardening with them. Hands-on experience and inquiry-based learning techniques allow students to develop a deeper understanding of science concepts and see the relevance in their lives. Growing food locally reduces dependence on fossil fuels. Using worms for vermicomposting avoids exposure to chemicals in pesticides. Eating vegetables provides nutrition for the body. The worms also provided fodder for classroom studies on invertebrate muscle systems and senses.

“The one thing that is most important to me is to make sure the kids see the relevance to what they’re doing,” she says. “What does it mean to their life as a 10-year-old or an 8-year-old? How is learning this particular content important to them? And I show them how this in their future might impact them. Because if they’re not making the connection, it is only knowledge that’s in your head.”

The vegetables have been used in the cafeteria salad bar, at luncheons and will be the focus of a charity harvest dinner this fall. Ms. Seta searches the Web for recipes to use the vegetables they grow and tries them out on her captive audiences. For the most part, the kids loved kale chips and green kale smoothies. “Well I won’t say everybody,” she says. “I’ve had a few who were fairly dramatic in their dislike.”

Pat Seta

“The one thing that is most important to me is to make sure the kids see the relevance to what they’re doing.”

Bio Basics

Teaches 2nd and 4th grade science and a social studies class. Began Summit in 1986-87. Taught seven years prior at a Catholic elementary. Certified in learning disabilities. B.S., Xavier University.

Fun Facts

A self-confessed clean freak, who loves to bike and dance, Mrs. Seta grew up in Finneytown where she still lives. Her next-door neighbor is her well-known father, Nick Seta, a long-time Xavier University professor and mental health professional who gained celebrity status performing card tricks on the Bob Braun show. She learned to tango a few years ago and watches “Dancing with the Stars.” “If it were up to me we’d have dancing with the teachers here.”