Curricula by Chris

A natural educator, Chris first began writing curriculum on a volunteer basis for the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center.

Given a subject matter (weather), a title ("Weather: Myths and Mysteries"), a timeline (1 month) and the goal of matching a field trip and lesson plans to Next Generation Science Standards for third grade, Chris took the lead in creating this field trip and lesson plans for the Cosmosphere.

"Weather: Myths and Mysteries" is a 3rd grade field trip experience that can be easily adjusted to groups of different sizes thanks to its built-in rotations. For the lesson plans, Chris interpreted data sets from NOAA and the National Weather Service, created graphics from scratch, and created physical pieces to accompany the program as well. One of the largest challenges was connecting seemingly-unconnected math, science, and writing standards to weather in a coherent set of lessons. Click on the gallery to see parts of the lesson plans and read further explanations.

Exhibit Work by Chris

Chris has always been interested in design and exhibits are a natural marriage of design, education, and organization.

Shortly after arriving at The Mid-America Air Museum, Chris embarked on a project to improve the displays of the historical progenitor of the museum: the Liberal Army Airfield. This was a new responsibility and required using the design experience he’d picked up through other work, matching observations he’d made about other museums’ displays, and creating a simple proposal of the concept.

Some of the choices in creating the exhibit included how much of the existing content to keep, and how to organize the content to fit a narrative structure that would make the exhibit flow smoothly between topics. As the Liberal Army Airfield trained B-24 pilots, but the Mid-America Air Museum does not have a B-24, Chris chose to have the muralist paint a full-scale bomber on the existing panels. This both kept costs down by using existing materials but also helped give a sense of the massive bombers’ scale.

Construction by Chris

A constant "tinkerer," Chris learned how to work with his hands as a 4-Her and enjoys building to suit unique challenges.

Chris built this interactive crane for the public library's summer celebration (theme: "Build a Better World"). He intentionally designed it to be cheap but durable, made mainly of layered cardboard. To give it appealing aesthetics, it was modeled after the graceful shape of a Fairbairn steam crane and featured both a hoist and hydraulic swinging arm. More pictures here.

Systems by Chris

The type of person who enjoys a good spreadsheet, Chris strives to create systems that will outlive him.

Chris’ interest in durable, repeatable, and user-friendly systems dates as far back as college: as the “coordinator” of a group of 25 students collecting signatures, he designed systems to schedule presentations, memorize training materials, collect and organize signed petitions, and coordinate the group’s overall efforts. The work resulted in successfully collecting 511 signatures in a timeframe of about a month, with no signed petitions lost, no presentations missed, and duplicate signatures successfully identified and removed from the total count.