Education team present lesson plans at fall conferences


By Ashley Thompson
Winter 2010

Cheri Hamilton and Dana Atwood-Blaine made the rounds of science education conferences this fall, presenting formal talks as well as hands-on Ice, Ice Baby activities, CReSIS-generated lesson plans for K-8 classrooms.

From Oct. 7-11, Hamilton and Atwood-Blaine were in Portland, Ore., for the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) conference. Hamilton, CReSIS K-12 Outreach Coordinator, led a hands-on presentation on her popular Ice, Ice Baby lesson plans. Atwood-Blaine, Education Program Evaluator and PhD student, gave a presentation entitled “Connecting Scientists with K-12 Educators.”

The CReSIS team held three sessions at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) conference on Oct. 28-31 in Minneapolis. Two sessions featured hands-on activities derived from Ice, Ice, Baby lesson plans. The other session was devoted specifically to Glacier Goo. Glacier Goo is an interactive lesson that introduces students to the basics of glacier movement. Teachers who attended the sessions were given the recipe (warm water, glue and Borax) to goo success, along with suggestions for how to best present this activity. In Hamilton’s traditional Glacier Goo lesson, the concoction slides slowly down a chute representing bedrock, mimicking glacial flow.

“The key is to not use non-running glue,” Hamilton revealed. “I can’t say it enough.” Hamilton is now a seasoned veteran of concocting Glacier Goo, and must bring along supplies to make mounds of the goo in her hotel room bathroom when she takes the show on the road.

Carol Landis (Ohio State), Ryan Bowman (former MA student at KU and current high school science teacher), Atwood-Blaine, and Hamilton were able to set up different tables to answer questions and hold demonstrations.

“I think everyone got a lot out of it because they were more closely involved, and could ask questions about how to best to teach and explain glacier science with this demonstration,” Hamilton said. In previous years, Hamilton and Atwood-Blaine held just one larger session, and hands-on personal attention wasn’t possible.

Overall, more than 75 conference attendees opted to receive CReSIS updates and follow the Center’s K-12 education-related developments. Between both conferences, 135 teachers were introduced to CReSIS lesson plans.

Link to Ice, Ice, Baby lesson plans: