Over the coming weeks Ms. Niccoli's first graders and Mr. Brad's preschoolers will be joining us on our science expedition in Antarctica. While we (a science team from various parts of the world) work in sub-freezing conditions and sleep on ice for several weeks on end, the students will be enjoying the adventure from their warm and cozy classrooms. Feel free to follow along on our adventure together.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to read a little about our science team.

Satellite image of Antarctica, courtesy of NASA. The blue dot is McMurdo. The red dot is our field area on the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Camper School

Thursday, November 25th

Guess what! We went to school this week, just like many of you. Our school was just a bit different than what most people are used to. Our school was snow school, or snowcraft. We called ourselves "happy campers".

Clement and Landon

We rode to our school in this big, red beast. The tires were as tall as I am! It was an awesome ride. Pretty different from how you get to school, huh?

We had class in this small building and on the ice shelf. Remember that our airplane landed on sea ice, which is frozen ocean water? Well, an ice shelf is ice that flowed from off the land onto the ocean. So we had our classroom on an enormous block of ice floating on the ocean. Our class was also close to a very big volcano - Mount Erebus. No better place for a classroom if you ask me.

Picture on the left is our indoor classroom; Picture on the right is Mount Erebus

And instead of going home at the end of the school day, we built a camp and slept on the ice shelf. We cooked our food, went to the bathroom, and even slept on the ice.

Picture on the left is our camp; Picture on the right is Clement asleep in the snow trench

In our school we learned many things we need to know before heading out on our big expedition. Remember, we will not have a home to get warm in, no phones to call for help, no showers to clean off in, nothing we're used to at home ... and it's very, very cold! So, we practiced building walls to protect our camp from strong winds that could blow our tents down, building snow trenches to keep us warm, calling for help or information on a special kind of radio, and many other things.

Despite being a bit cold, our school was super fun and we learned a lot. How many of you would like to go to school with us next time?

Picture on the left is Dr. Koutnik and Mountain Mike; Picture on the right is Landon and Dr. Rupper

1 comment:

  1. We have a question. In the most recent National Geographic, there is a short article about Antarctica being "the timeless continent" because the time zones converge there. It says, most scientists "keep the time of thier home country.Others stay on the clock of the city from which their ships or aircraft departed. Fewer stll use the standard time at their geographic location." So, which is it for you guys?