Taylor Hardwick: An Educator in the Arctic


Taylor Hardwick joined the Radford University Arctic Geophysics expedition to get a better look at the life of a sea ice researcher in Barrow, Alaska. Establishing a virtual classroom up there was just part of the deal.

Hardwick, a senior education major from Virginia Beach, is part of a crew of students from a variety of majors conducting research on the ice. She is also a student teacher at Auburn Elementary School in Radford. Video conferencing tools allow her to visit her students and show them what it's like to do science at the top of the world.

"This adventure to Alaska is the learning experience of a lifetime," Hardwick said. "I am so excited to share my journey and discoveries with my students and help them make real world connections using Skype in the classroom."

The Barrow team, led by Physics Professor Rhett Herman, is conducting research to explore a potential correlation between surface temperature of the artic sea ice and its thickness. If a correlation is found, then it might be possible to more easily determine the amount of ice of large areas.

While most of Hardwick's fellow researchers are physics and geology students, she has stepped up to the challenge of embracing those disciplines.

"This trip is exposing me to new subject areas and I am completely intrigued," she said.

The team returns from the Arctic on March 15. For more information about the expedition, visit the team's website.


Photo of Taylor Hardwick Skyping with Students

Taylor Hardwick takes a break from the ice to Skype with students at Auburn Elementary School in Radford, Va.

Mar 12, 2014