CReSIS in the Classroom: Tim Nussbaum


Spring 2010

Tim Nussbaum, a fifth-grade teacher at Lowman Hill Elementary School in Topeka, has worked with Cheri Hamilton for two years and has seen and appreciated the growth of the CReSIS education program during that time.

How many students does Cheri see regularly at your school?

180 students from seven different classrooms

What were your initial expectations?

I wanted the kids to get an outside perspective on science and to get to do a lot of, their words, "cool" (pun) experiments.

How have the CReSIS lessons changed over the last two years?

They are even more hands-on and discovery-learning based than they used to be. We have had Cheri come ten times this year, which is more than last year. The student log books have grown in size and detail.

Has your school/classroom been engaged in climate science previously?

We talked about global warming and the poles but nothing to the extent which Cheri teaches us.

What is the hardest concept for kids this age to grasp regarding polar science?

That the layers of ice over thousands of years can tell us about the weather on the earth during a given time period. The way in which people in Greenland have to use the bathroom is a close second.

What about that age group (fifth-graders) makes it an ideal time to teach them about glaciers and polar research?

They have always loved science and enjoy learning about the world around them. They are realizing every choice they make has positive or negative consequences. This helps them want to take care of the earth and everything in it so future generations can have clean water and glaciers.