AACT Member Spotlight: Dustin Himebauch

By AACT on May 1, 2024

Dustin Himebauch

Every month AACT spotlights a passionate member who is dedicated to enhancing chemistry inside and outside the classroom. This month, we spotlight Dustin Himebauch. He is a science teacher at Climax-Scotts Jr./Sr. High School in Climax, MI.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a Michigander, born and raised. I enjoy being outdoors, traveling, camping, hiking, fishing, and taking advantage of everything this world has to offer! When I'm not traveling, I revert to being a huge nerd who enjoys building computers, putting Legos together, and doing basically anything science-related. I'm also a big fan of space exploration and the new "space age" we have entered. I've always been fascinated with the world and space around us, which is what ultimately led me to become a science teacher. Through the years I've been able to travel to places such as Yellowstone, Mammoth Caves, and Brazil, just to name a few. These experiences have opened my mind and have helped shape me into the person that I am today. I'm excited to see where the future takes me!

Why did you become a teacher? Did you always want to teach?

Honestly, I never thought about being a teacher when I was younger... it just kind of came to me later in life. I attended Central Michigan University (Fire Up Chips!) and graduated with a degree in Logistics Management and Information Systems. After spending several years in the field, I started having some moral conflicts with the corporate world and decided to switch things up! And I'm glad life brought me here because I enjoy learning about and teaching science every day.

What are you most proud of in your work?

I am most proud of inspiring, influencing, and educating the upcoming generations as they prepare to step into the real world. When it comes to science, nothing makes me more proud than when a student says, "you have inspired me to pursue a career—or an education—in science". We know as educators that you often don't get to see the returns from the efforts you make with students, so it's rewarding to hear from them and how you have impacted their lives.

Why did you become involved with AACT? What are the benefits of being involved?

I'm a part of a Chemistry Network in SW Michigan and was recommended to not only join AACT, but to participate in the Science Coaches program. I'm very glad I did both because AACT has a tremendous amount of material to offer such as lessons, guides, and helpful ways to make instruction meaningful. I was also awarded a small grant that allowed me to purchase much-needed supplies for my chemistry classes! Being a part of the Science Coaches program through AACT has been a great way to make connections into the fields of chemistry found outside the classroom. My coach has been a tremendous help by suggesting labs and lessons to help explain concepts, while also providing real world explanations, uses, and practical applications of the concepts we cover.

In three words, what would your students say they learned from you?

Critical & logical thinking.

If you could pass on one word of wisdom to other chemists what would it be?

Persistence. This stems from a quote I was given a few years ago, "And if those children are unresponsive, maybe you can't teach them yet, but you can love them. And if you love them today, maybe you can teach them tomorrow."