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Palmer LTER – Winter 2020 Opportunities for K-12 Educators

We have two opportunities this year to connect your students to cutting-edge science at Palmer Station, Antarctica:  I.D. Antarctica and Palmer LTER VideoTeleconferences.

I.D. Antarctica

Follow the adventures of polar scientist Andrew Corso and see if your students can identify the “mystery creatures” that he encounters during his research cruise along the West Antarctic Peninsula.

We are excited to launch I.D. (Investigate and Discover) Antarctica this year! Once a week, on Tuesdays, we will post a photograph of a “mystery” creature from the depths of the Southern Ocean that participating classes will identify using the custom keys provided.  Each Friday we will post the correct identification, as well as information about the animal and the surrounding ecosystem. The unique organisms we will post are found only in Antarctica and will include alien-like invertebrates, white-blooded icefishes, penguins, and several others. The program will begin January 14, 2020 and run for five consecutive weeks.

This opportunity is open to all grade levels and no registration is required – just make sure you are signed up to receive Polar-ICE blog posts (see sign up box at top right of this page.)

About our scientist:

Andrew Corso, a PhD candidate at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, will be leading I.D. Antarctica. While he is primarily researching the impacts of climate change on Antarctic fishes, he has the opportunity to work with scientists studying a variety of Antarctic organisms, ranging from bacteria to whales. Andrew’s greatest passion is photography and his specialized equipment will help illustrate the otherworldly animals of the Southern Ocean.

Palmer LTER VideoTeleconferences:  Research on the Ice


What is it like to do research on the ice?  Your students can participate in a real-time video teleconference (VTC) with a scientist at the Palmer LTER Station in Antarctica and find out the challenges and rewards of doing cutting-edge research. Students will learn about Antarctic food web ecology and how scientists are conducting long-term experiments and observations to understand this remarkable ecosystem – and our changing climate.

Make a meaningful connection with the NGSS science and engineering practices!  These VTCs are designed to engage students in authentic research and introduce them to practicing scientists. Through background research and developing their own questions, students also build their science identity.

We ask that educators agree to attend a pre-VTC preparation call, implement a relevant lesson plan, submit student questions to Rutgers and meet certain other requirements. Please see the 2020 flyer for more details.

We invite you to apply for one of the limited number of spots available for grades 3-9.

How to apply?  Complete this application before December 11, 2019.

Schools will be notified of their acceptance by December 18, 2019 and must RSVP to confirm their spot.