Students will take some time and look at the PolarTREC website journals, pictures, and forums to learn about a certain teacher, researcher, or polar science expedition that has already taken place or is currently taking place. Students will use the attached worksheet to think more deeply about a polar researcher's job and work.
Students will gain a better understanding of a researchers job, while investigating and evaluating the misconceptions they may have about science and the polar regions.
Students will visit the PolarTREC website at www.polartrec.com. As the instructor, you can direct them to a specific expedition, or you can allow them to browse the projects and find a research expedition they would like to learn more about. Students can read the project pages, teacher's journals, and the "Ask the Team" forum section to learn more about the teachers, scientists, and the work that is being done or has been completed.
The worksheet can be handed out to the students before or after the web site visit or both before and after. The worksheet gives the students an opportunity to express what they learned about a researchers job, what research the PolarTREC teachers are conducting, and what it is like to do science in the field and in the polar regions of the Earth.
Once the worksheet is complete, you can use the drawings and answers to questions to facilitate a discussion about science, the scientist's work, and about the polar regions. Some discussion questions may include:
What does your scientist do?
What kind of education or training was needed for them to do their job?
How do they prepare for their work in the field?
How is their science like the science work we do in the classroom?
What did you learn about the polar regions, arctic, or Antarctica?
How is working in there regions different from working outside in your town or region?
You could also have an actual scientist visit your classroom as a guest speaker. Guest scientists may be invited from local institutions or colleges, could be one of your student's parents, or may be a PolarTREC teacher or researcher from your area. Students can complete the worksheet before the visit, after the visit, or both before and after as a means to assess what they learned, and to discuss how their ideas about scientists, research, and their work has grown or changed.
PolarTREC Website: www.polartrec.com
Activity created by Frank Kelley, and modified by Kristin Timm.
This program is supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by this program are those of the PIs and coordinating team, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.