South Orangetown Central School District

Group photo of SOCSD alumna Cassandra Bartels with Kopac/Sullivan's fourth grade class

SOCSD alumna and Class of 2019 Salutatorian Cassandra Bartels returned to Cottage Lane Elementary School this week to teach fourth graders in CLE teachers Katie Kopac and Brenda Sullivan’s class about her work in paleoceanography with help from CLE Technology teacher Jacob Tanenbaum.

Bartels is currently living and working in Kiel, Germany where she has been studying paleoceanography, which is the study of the history of the oceans. She reached out to CLE earlier this school year to partner with a class to participate in a virtual exchange program through Reach the World, an online platform that allows students to connect with travelers as they explore places across the globe.

Kopac and Sullivan’s class have been writing back and forth and even did a video call with Bartels to talk about what it is like to live in another country and what it’s like being a young scientist working in a lab. On Tuesday while Bartels was home for the holidays, she came by CLE for an in-person visit! With a microscope in hand, she showed the class samples of tiny shells from the bottom of the sea that scientists use to know the temperature of the water years ago.

“I’m so grateful to Cassandra and to Reach the World for giving us the opportunity to follow Cassandra’s journey as she lives abroad for the first time and begins her life as a scientist,” said Tanenbaum. “What a wonderful role model Cassandra has been for our students.”

To read about her journey to Germany, check out her field notes and journal entries through Reach the World here: