Nevin Longenecker

last updated 1/12/2017

General Information


South Bend Alumni Association

Science Teacher - Adams


Goshen College

biology , Purdue

master's degrees - science , Texas A&M

Recent News,0,3232811.story

Nevin Longenecker has taught at Adams for more than 40 years and been involved in the research-funding program for more than 30.
His students have won more than $1 million.

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Nevin Longenecker, a biology teacher at Adams High School who began teaching in 1960, shares Finke's assessment."Homework permits more content to be covered in class," he says.Longenecker, for example, says that a high school student who's taking an advanced course of studies can expect to spend at least three hours per night on homework.The best students, he says, are those who take as much time as they need to complete the assignments they juggle with their extracurricular activities.It is these students, he says, who generally secure high-achieving jobs and take on leadership roles as adults."They're going to have to extend more than the minimum effort and time to do those things," he says.

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South Bend Tribune

Nevin Longenecker said he's rather cynical about the origins debate going on right now.He spends about a week or less each year teaching it to his Adams High School science students.Longenecker says he has more interesting topics to teach his kids, such as curbing pollution, protecting the environment and creating more efficient fuel cells.And frankly, he said, the kids don't get that riled up about origins anyway -- at least, not like the adults seem to. "These people should get a real life," he said, with a grin."There's so many more exciting things in science to teach kids."Longenecker, who spoke before Tuesday's federal court ruling declared unconstitutional a Pennsylvania school policy requiring intelligent design be taught in science classes, could not be immediately reached after the ruling.A biology teacher at Adams for nearly 40 years, he says he lays out three or four theories as to why, biologically, humans have changed over the years, creation and evolution included."We look at the strengths and weaknesses and leave it up to the students to decide what they feel most comfortable with," Longenecker said before the court decision in Pennsylvania Tuesday.He said he wants his students to realize that none of the theories is "completely correct," that they all give some explanations, "but all of them have their deficiencies." He doesn't think his approach has hurt anything.Under his tutelage, he said, Adams science students have been given more than $1 million in awards and research grants from various organizations over the years.To be sure, Longenecker believes evolution is the best explanation.Intelligent design, he said, is a "play on words" for creationism."I personally don't believe in a very literal interpretation of the Bible," he said.He thinks the Bible is primarily a book about human relationship."The Bible is not a science book," he said.Still, he said, too much time is spent wasted "on a controversy that can't be solved with any definitive answer."That's because no one was here at the beginning to see the start of life, he said. Longenecker said he teaches to state Department of Education guidelines and then some at Adams. Adams High School teacher Nevin Longenecker explains a biology experiment to a few of his "prodigies" at the South Bend school.

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