POLAR VENTURE FOR UH STUDENT TO SHOW HOW
SCIENCE CAN BE REALLY COOL
Doctoral Candidate One of Only Seven Teachers Set to Sail with Coast
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
For more information on the UH College of Education, please visit
For more information about the Teacher & Researcher Exploring
& Collaborating (TREC), please visit www.arcus.org/trec/abouttrec/?Menu=1
To follow Ute Kaden’s trip with the USCGS Healey, please
About the University of Houston
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