Monday, February 27, 2012

Sacramento teacher headed to Antarctica after winning 'cool' competition

Kim Williams was picked in a "cool teacher" contest.

Sacramento sixth-grade teacher Kim Williams is heading to Antarctica after being selected as one of two winners of the "Coolest Teachers in the World" competition.

The Washington Elementary School veteran teacher will join explorer Robert Swan in the 2041 International Antarctic Expedition on Monday for a two-week journey she will share with her students when she returns.

Williams said that during the trip the group will explore the Antarctic Peninsula to learn about the continent's fragile ecosystem and the effects of climate change.

Williams said the Antarctic expedition will include hikes, camping and a polar plunge.

"I have to pinch myself every once in a while," Williams said. "I never in a million years …"

Williams was selected to participate following a national search sponsored by the U.S. Green Building Council's Center for Green Schools.

Fellow teacher Cate Arnold of Boston Latin School was also selected.

The council chose Williams based on her collaborations with California State University,Sacramento, and UC Davis that bring science, engineering and math graduate students and faculty into her classroom.

She has been teaching for 15 years and said incorporating environmental awareness into classroom studies has been a priority.

Williams started Washington Elementary's school garden and registered it as a 4-H Junior Master Gardner Program.

"The students are so excited for me," she said.

Williams will be blogging about her trip and answering questions online

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