project on bacteria in western antarctica
project on bacteria in western antarctica

Sample student project poster for Sci-I Student Polar Research Symposium. Photo credit: Sci-I Team

There was a buzz in the air as the students talked through how the ecosystems of Antarctica had changed over time.

Were we witnessing a class report on Antarctica that they had looked up on google? No!

On February 24, 2017 we were at the Student Polar Research Symposium (SPRS) at California State University Monterey Bay. Students presented their results and findings to polar scientists and to one another as a culminating event to the Sci-I project.

The Symposium excites and engages students about the poles and science by enabling students to act as science communicators and peer educators.

Six schools attended including: Seaside High (9-10th), Seaside Middle (6th), Walter Colton Middle (7th), Pacific Grove Middle (7th), Chalone Peaks Middle (8th), and San Antonio Elementary (7-8th). There were a total of 539 students that participated in the Sci-I Project and 171 students attended the SPRS to present posters from 27 different projects.

Scientist Panel at California Sci-I Project Student Polar Research Symposium. Photo credit: Sci-I Team

In addition, fourteen scientists from California State University Monterey Bay, Moss Landing Marine Labs, University of Illinois, Hopkins Marine Station, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and Center for Ocean Solutions. The scientists reviewed the student projects, provided feedback, and then participated in a Scientist Q&A Panel to answer the students questions. Three assistant professors, one professor emeritus, two graduate students, three science educators, one postdoc research associate, one research staff, one chief scientist, and two undergraduate students took time out of their Friday to learn from and talk with these excited budding scientists.

Polar ICE Science Investigations (Sci-I) Project is designed to increase educator and student skills in designing and conducting science investigations as well as analyzing and interpreting data in alignment with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) requirements through the lens of polar science. The Sci-I Project is a year-long project that consists of:

project looking at adelie penguins over time

Sample project poster from Sci-I Project Student Polar Research Symposium. Photo credit: Sci-I team