Antarctic or Antarctica? An online course designed for elementary school teachers who speak Portuguese

- contributed by Silvia Dotta

Portuguese course SilviaThis online course is a forty hour distance learning course and is designed for elementary school teachers who speak Portuguese. There are two synchronous classes, and all mediated by Moodle, and should be finished in ten weeks. It is structured in 4 modules (Ice, Convergence, Environment and Life) and is composed by texts, video lessons, puzzles, images, etc.. All the teaching materials were prepared in an accessible language for different audiences and can be used by teachers to teach their classes as well as other educators. The course participants have to perform some learning activities: discussion forums, sharing news about Antarctica through Facebook, create didactical sequences, create a Polar Project that will be performed in the classroom of teacher students, and after the project takes place, the course participants must present an experience report.

Registration is FREE and the deadline is August 21. Classes begin on September 25th. For more information contact Silvia Dotta or visit the course website.

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Adélie penguins film their underwater world

JBThiebot movie- Contributed by Jean-Baptiste Thiebot, Yan Ropert-Coudert and Akinori Takahashi

Adélie penguins in Eastern Antarctica have starred in a few short videos, thanks to the help of some researchers working with them during the breeding season 2014-2015. The video clip shows footage obtained from video data loggers attached onto free-ranging Adélie penguins at Dumont d'Urville station, Adélie Land. Commuting, exploring and feeding behaviour can be seen from the footage.

The work was carried out through a collaboration between CNRS, France, and the National Institute of Polar Research (NIPR), Japan. The French Polar Institute IPEV provided logistics and support through Program 1091 l'AMMER. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) also supported the research and made the final edit of the video clip.


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Video: A Little Story About Climate Change

Little story climate changeThe three-minute story of 800,000 years of climate change with a sting in the tail

- Ben Henley and Nerilie Abram, Source: The Conversation

"There are those who say the climate has always changed, and that carbon dioxide levels have always fluctuated. That’s true. But it’s also true that since the industrial revolution, CO₂ levels in the atmosphere have climbed to levels that are unprecedented over hundreds of millennia.

So here’s a short video we made, to put recent climate change and carbon dioxide emissions into the context of the past 800,000 years." 

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Video: Take Aim on Climate Change

take aim climate changeAn upbeat invitation to "Take AIM at Climate Change" - with "AIM" standing for Adapt, Innovate, Mitigate. The lyrics are based on the latest science (in 2009) of Earth's changing climate, with the music a mix of rap and pop. Four verses connect changes in the Arctic and Antarctic to conditions around the planet, with choruses encouraging long-term thinking, and individual and community action. Optimistic, forward-thinking, but now's the time to act. "Yes we can!" take AIM at climate change. Download the video or audio versions at to iPods or iPhones, and share with friends. This video was produced by the Polar Polooza Project during the International Polar Year. An oldie, but a goodie.


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Video: Cruise Cruise Baby

cruise cruise babyLife as a marine biologist, based on five years of monthly cruises in the Gulf of Maine, set to "Ice Ice Baby". Lyrics and video by Chris Manning. Another oldie, but a goodie!




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Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies

PCAS 2017 posterThe Postgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies (PCAS) is a 14-week, in‐depth, multi‐disciplinary programme of study that critically examines contemporary scientific, environmental, social and political debates focused on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean.

Jointly developed by the University of Canterbury and Antarctica New Zealand, this unique summer programme is the only programme in the world to take students to experience life in the Antarctic – at Scott Base, New Zealand’s station on Ross Island, and at a field campsite on the Ross Ice Shelf.  The 10-day visit to Antarctica is supported by Antarctica New Zealand, and participants undertake a mix of analytical and interpretive field projects and environmental monitoring projects in the vicinity of Scott Base.
The programme provides a unique Antarctic experience that is valuable for:

  • Future Antarctic researchers;
  • Employees and managers within National Antarctic Programmes;
  • Employees within government agencies involved in Antarctic policy or environmental management;
  • School teachers and university lecturers; and
  • Antarctic enthusiasts.

The programme can be used as part of a Master’s Degree.  While the University of Canterbury does not offer scholarships for PCAS, financial support may be available for participants from National Antarctic Programmes and through external funding bodies.
Please note that applications for PCAS close on 1 August 2017.
For further details, please visit the PCAS website.

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If the ice caps melt - Animated map of what Earth would look like

Sea level rises as a result of climate change are predicted to reach 1m or more by the end of the 21st century. The video below shows the impact of all the ice on land melting and draining into the sea.

The largest contribution is from the Antarctic Ice Sheet, which contains over 7 million cubic miles of ice and if it melted completely would lead to a sea level rise of over 50 metres.

Based on the maps produced by the National Geographic in 2013, the video shows the resulting sea level rise as it dramatically reshapes the continents and drowns many of the world's major cities.




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Polar Educators International

PEIFor the past few months our colleagues in Polar Educators International (PEI) have been contributing helpful resources that scientists can use in classrooms and other venues when sharing infomration about their Antarctic research. This month PEI is hosting their International Conference in Rovereto, Italy so we thought it would be a good time to give them a break and tell you more about PEI.

PEI is a vibrant network promoting polar education and research to a global community. By fostering dialogue and collaboration between educators and researchers, PEI aims to highlight and share the global relevance of the polar regions with the broader community.  

PEI is looking for scientists to work with, so take a few minutes and learn more about this important partner.

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How do we know what we know from Coring?

Contributed by Julia Dooley, MEd., Artist, and Teacher of the Gifted and Talented

1IMG 5319Data from ice and sediment cores provide climatic and geologic history. The science of telling the story of time through sediment and ice coring might not seem that complicated, but it can be very confusing to student, and non-scientific audiences. Even explaining that uppermost layers tell the most recent history, and deeper layers recording older periods, does not go far enough to clarify concepts. Since it is impossible to take field trips to the polar ice sheets, or in ocean drill ships, I developed the Life Cores Sci-Art activity.

This activity has students creating a model core of a period of time in their current activities. Students are given plastic tubes 2’ long and 2” in diameter and add a daily layer of materials from their everyday life, for a set period of time. Students choose materials important to them personally, and keep journals, reflecting on items’ significance, and/or relationship to life and world events. Students use core logging sheets to make observations of each others’ life cores, noting layer colors, textures and deposition rates as some of the characteristics researchers use in ice and sediment core interpretation.

The passage of time, as recorded with recognizable, personal indicators, allows for better understanding of the question, How do know what we know from coring?

How/when to use it: This activity works best to introduce coring. If time allows, have students make their own Life Cores in advance and bring to a workshop, or class. You may also construct your own core as a way of introducing yourself, as well as the science. Students love to hear your personal stories!

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ROV Design Challenge

SeaPerch HolmesCo4H- Contributed by Nell Herrmann, Science Teacher, Blue Hill Consolidated School, Blue Hill, Maine

Remotely-operated, underwater vehicles are complementing ship based science to aid long-term ocean exploration over a wide range of temporal and spacial-scales. These instruments survey regions and collect information by providing data and high definition visualizations of areas hard-to-explore by humans. Given the importance of the ocean in human history and its role in regulating climate, utilizing technology has become indispensable in providing valuable information to solve some of the most complex environmental issues around the world.

This activity involves building small Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) from Sea Perch kits, produced and distributed by the Office of Naval Research. The activity describes the differences between an ROV and an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) and explains the scientific applications of each.  This link also has a brief background on the use of underwater vehicles in Antarctica. 

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