Office of External Communications

Houston, TX 77204-5017 Fax: 713.743.8199

July 6, 2005

Contact: Marisa Ramirez
713.743.8152 (office)
713.204.9798 (cell)

Doctoral Candidate One of Only Seven Teachers Set to Sail with Coast Guard Cutter

HOUSTON, July 6, 2005—Forget the beach. University of Houston doctoral student Ute Kaden will spend her summer vacation aboard an ice breaker setting sail for the North Pole.

Kaden is one of seven teachers nationwide participating in the Teacher and Researcher Exploring and Collaborating (TREC) program set to travel aboard the U. S. Coastguard Cutter Healey on August 2. She joins scientists from the U. S., Russia, Sweden and Norway on a mission to collect data about the ocean floor. The
two-month trip is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Office of Polar Programs Arctic Sciences Section.

“My hope is to bring enthusiasm about science to young people,” Kaden said. “Science can’t just be textbooks. The material has to be interesting and meaningful to students.”

Kaden is a physics and math teacher at Homer Hanna High School in Brownsville, Texas. She says her students are predominantly Hispanic, a group not traditionally represented well in the sciences. Her students and the public will be able to follow her trip online, read the daily teacher log and ask questions about the mission.

Kaden’s UH studies are part of the collaboration between UH and the University of Texas at Brownsville. The joint program, Doctoral Programs in Education, has been ongoing for the last 16 years in the Rio Grande Valley.

“Students will find that this really happens, and not just on the Discovery Channel,” Howard Jones, professor emeritus at the UH College of Education said. “My hope is that students will see her and consider science as a career.”

The College of Education offers specialized programs for teachers of science. “Chemistry and the Environment” helps teachers to look at chemistry “in a non-chemical way,” Jones said. Another program for physics teachers offered a topsy-turvy perspective of science in the class “Rollercoaster Physics.”

“Science is fun, useful and meaningful,” Jones said. “And it’s not always done by people in white coats.”
Since this trip will spill over into the beginning of the new school year, Kaden plans live webcasts from the Healey and other interactive ways to bring the classroom to her students. Her tales from the sea may include some unpleasant experiences—she’s never been on a boat traveling through the Bering Strait.

“I’m a little bit nervous, like about getting stuck in the ice,” Kaden said. “But in science you need to be flexible.”

For more information on the UH College of Education, please visit

For more information about the Teacher & Researcher Exploring & Collaborating (TREC), please visit

To follow Ute Kaden’s trip with the USCGS Healey, please visit

About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

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