Hibbert teaches science through penguins


Gabrielle Pope , Online Editor

Science teacher Chris Hibbert is teaching carbon foot printing through his use — or you could say abuse  — of his stuffed penguins.

“It started with me trying to do videos for my freshman kids, when I was teaching foundations of science, doing things like conservation of momentum. I would throw the penguin, I stomp the penguin to show that every action has an opposite and equal reaction, I’d kick the penguin and I’d put all these videos together and the only questions they asked were why I hated penguins,” he said.

He turned his “hatred” for penguins into a lesson on the size of people’s carbon footprint. The penguins are in trouble, and Hibbert knows that actions speak louder than words so if your carbon footprint is large then you definitely hate penguins, he said.

He tends to think his carbon footprint isn’t too big because he does things like shopping at thrift stores, growing his own food and walks to places rather than driving.

“For me, my actions aren’t very loud, so I have to be very verbal about my hatred for penguins; so that I can fit in with everybody else who hates penguins,” he said.

Hibbert said that his students start to understand that there is a reason for the many penguins and what he was doing by talking about his “disliking” of them.

“Which is kind of shocking to them because usually they don’t really think I have a purpose; they just think I’m there to be goofy,” Hibbert said.

“I know a ton of people who are unaware of how their actions act beyond themselves,” he said.

Hibbert said students should educate themselves beyond what they can learn at school and engage your mind in things like human effects and the biosphere or anthropogenic effects on geological systems.