International Polar Year, or IPY (2007-2009) is by far the most exciting international scientific and educational opportunity of this century. For the next two years, all eyes will be focused on the physical, social and human dimensions of our planet's polar regions. Watch this blog for news related to Canadian outreach and education efforts related to IPY. Of particular interest to educators! Note: This blog is created independently of any official IPY organization

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Pembina Arctic eCards site

Teachers: Take Your Students to the Arctic with eCards

Hauling the SailsStudents can now research Arctic glaciers on the eCards website, and use it to create an eCard, an electronic postcard with their own message and graphics.

In September 2007, twelve high school students from Canada, Germany and the UK sailed to the Arctic aboard the Noorderlicht. They worked with scientists and artists who are interested in exploring the impact of climate change in the North. This Cape Farewell expedition gave the youth a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity, one they can now vividly share with other students through the eCards topic resource centre on Arctic glaciers.

The Noorderlicht While learning about glaciers, your students can imagine what it would be like to travel to the Arctic aboard a 120-foot schooner. They will meet Shona, a high school student in Quebec. Students can listen to her video diary about the glacier mass balance research she participated in and read what she had to say about it in her blog. They also meet Jethro, a student from the UK, who shares his video diary from the Arctic as well as a song he wrote that was inspired by the glaciers.

The eCards website now includes five age-appropriate, multi-media topic resource centres for student research:

  • eCards Screenshot wind energy
  • solar energy
  • nuclear power
  • energy success stories
  • Arctic glaciers.

Initially piloted by Grade 7 Geography teachers in Ontario last fall, eCards is quickly finding its way into a range of classrooms, curricula and grade levels across the country.

Visit the eCards website and click Learn More to see the Arctic Glacier topic resource centre.

Next International Polar Day, March 12 focusing on Changing Earth,

Notice from Rhian Salmon, International IPY Outreach Coordinator ____ Dear Colleagues, The next International Polar Day, MARCH 12. focusing on our Changing Earth, is in two weeks. We have prepared a number of webpages, resources, and links to relevant IPY science. These can all be accessed from the link on (top right), or directly at There are also three aspects of particular interest that I hope you can inform your networks about: 1. EDUCATIONAL FLYERS Flyers can be downloaded from the educators page at Information flyers about the science being discussed are available in 9 languages: English, Russian, Portugese, French, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Inuktitut, and Arabic. Educational flyers encouraging participation in the Day and suggesting a simple classroom activity are available in 19 languages: Russian, Polish, Spanish, Afrikaans, Malay, German, Swedish, Danish, English, Dutch, Portugese, French, Finnish, Norwegian, Chinese, Inuktitut, Japanese, Arabic, and Italian. Please download and distribute the appropriate flyer across your networks. Alternatively, I am happy to send you the relevant flyer for your language (I have NOT attached to this mail as they are 1MB each). Many thanks to the many volunteers who helped make these translations. 2. LAUNCH A VIRTUAL BALLOON We encourage everyone, whether IPY participant, journalist, teacher, student, or other enthusiast, to launch a balloon and show your IPY participation. This is one of the few global IPY initiatives that provides feedback about which areas we are accessing, and so helps us develop our future programmes. The page is already active so have a try now,- and ask students to launch a balloon after learning something about the polar regions. Simple instructions, and the interactive map, can be found at Incase of technical difficulties, you can alternatively email with details of name, location (lat, lon or town, country), and IPY message. There might, however, be a delay of up to 48 hours before this balloon is launched. Please also consider acting as a local contact for your area and either launching the balloons yourself, or forwarding these details to the above address. 3. LIVE EVENTS Four live events will be occurring to celebrate this Day. Full details of these activities, and how to join, can be found at First Event: World Ocean Observatory Technology required: internet and computer with sound Time: March 12, 2008 @ 01.00.00 UTC Second Event: ARCUS PolarTrec Live From IPY Technology required: phone (minimum) and internet (optional) Time: March 12, 2008 between 18.00 - 20.00 UTC Third Event; IGLO/NASA videoconferencing I Technology required: turn up to one of the local science centres in Mexico, Beijing, & Melbourne, or watch the webcast. Time: midnight UTC (night of March 12th, morning March 13th) Fourth Event; IGLO/NASA videoconferencing II Technology required: turn up to one of the local science centres in Chicago, Cardiff, Lisbon, Egypt, and Cape Town, or watch the webcast. Time: 13.00 UTC March 13th We hope you, and your networks, will enjoy the day and Get Involved! Please contact me if you have any questions best wishes, Rhian and the IPY Education and Outreach Team ________________________________ Dr Rhian A Salmon IPY Education and Outreach Coordinator +44 (0) 7711181509 AIM / skype: rhiansalmon

Monday, February 18, 2008

Connecting Arctic/Antarctic Researchers (CARE)

see below, a great new resource and communication opportunity for teachers to connect with polar researchers. Please do join up and let me know what you think of it as in the next year we'll have to think about what happens after IPY,- and this might be a great place to migrate this group of "IPY Teachers" too so that you all remain connected with the latest opportunities and adventures in polar science, beyond IPY. Rhian > Dear Program Managers: > > I am writing to invite and your teachers to participate in a new polar > science discussion network, Connecting Arctic/Antarctic Researchers > and Educators (CARE), facilitated by ARCUS as part of PolarTREC > (Teachers and > Researchers Exploring and Collaborating). > > The CARE network is open to any educators and researchers that have > had teacher research experience in the polar regions. We feel that > anyone that > has participated in such a program could gain from networking to > further > engage those involved in teaching and researching polar science in > discussions about polar science content and educational approaches. > CARE is > also open to anyone that interested in bringing polar research into > the > classroom, even if they haven't had a field experience in the polar > regions. > The purpose of CARE is to provide a mechanism by which teachers who > had a > can communicate with several of their colleagues about the successes > and > challenges associated with synthesizing the experience and > transferring it > into classroom practice for themselves and their colleagues. > > A critical aspect of the CARE groups is that they are designed to be > participant-driven and needs-based. CARE will also regularly involve > polar researchers in the discussions to further the connection between > current > field research and the work of the K-12 classroom. > > The CARE groups offer the opportunity for participants to enhance > their professional development through discussions of field > experiences, current > science issues, content, technology resources, and pedagogy. Through > discussion these groups will leverage the diverse experiences and > expertise > of the participants in order to explore solutions to mentoring > challenges. > Each CARE group will participate in a facilitated one-hour > conference call > on a regular basis. > > If this sounds interesting, please check out the website and encourage > your teachers to register for CARE . We > anticipate > that CARE groups will start meeting this spring. > > For more information or questions, please feel free to contact me at > or call 907-474-1600. > > Best Regards, > > Janet Warburton > PolarTREC Education Project Manager > > Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS) > 3535 College Road, Suite #101 > Fairbanks, AK U.S.A. 99709-3710 > Phone: 907-474-1600, ext. 612 > Fax: 907-474-1604 > Email: > Websites:; > > ------ End of Forwarded Message > > > *************************************************************************** Janet Warburton PolarTREC Education Project Manager

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Report from IPY International Programme Office

This report can also be viewed on-line at Report no. 10, February 2008 From: IPY International Programme Office To: IPY Project Coordinators cc: IPY Community Google Groups Contents: 1. IPY Science Day: Changing Earth, March 12th 2008 2. Send us your stories! 3. St Petersburg SCAR/IASC Meeting, July 2008 4. End of IPY Celebrations 5. Workshop and summer school opportunities for students 6. The Legacies of IPY 1. IPY Science Day: Changing Earth, March 12th 2008 The IPY Science Day on March 12th will focus on change over geological time, especially the glacial and interglacial periods that have occurred during the past million years, and cycles of ocean- atmosphere interactions that give rise to regional climate variations on scales of decades to centuries. Understanding these processes, and the science projects that investigate them, is critical in order to put recent human- induced climate change into context. Please consider sharing your expertise in this area by writing, responding to journalists, or participating in live web-and video conferences discussing these issues. Four events are planned that will occur throughout March 12th and 13th, in time-zones around the world. If you would like to get involved in any aspect of this Day, please email Rhian ( The next IPY Science Day on June 18th, will have the theme of Land and Life, and cover terrestrial ecology, hydrology, and permafrost. In September (on the 24th) we will focus on People and Health. Please join these activities. 2. Send us your stories! On, we and hundreds of other viewers have followed traverses across Antarctica and expeditions through the Southern Ocean during the last few weeks. As these expeditions come to an end, please consider sending stories from your expedition, lab, satellite download station, or office. All submissions welcome! These short stories bring IPY science to the public, and will prove important in documenting the breadth and diversity of IPY science, both now and as an archive for the future. If you don’t have time or inclination yourself, please ask your students, post-docs, and other colleagues. Most groups have at least one member who likes to write, and many who already have their own blogs - please ask your interested writers to contact Rhian ( 3. St Petersburg SCAR/IASC Meeting, July 2008 Arctic and Antarctic Perspectives in the International Polar Year St Petersburg, Russia Information about this conference can be found at: Abstract submission is February 15th. Every session is open to submissions about both scientific research and education/outreach activities relevant to the science theme. There will be a one day workshop for Early Career Researchers on July 7th. Register at 4. End of IPY Celebrations A few IPY Projects have completed their field activities. Most IPY Projects have only started, or only completed their initial field year. We know that some IPY research will certainly extend into the Arctic summer of 2009. Why, then, do we ask you to start thinking about end of IPY celebrations? We started planning the IPY launch events 12 months in advance. We want to involve all the IPY participants and all our networks of teachers, young scientists, and other partners in a grand IPY celebration at multiple of events around the world during the months of March - May 2009. We will of course encourage an IPY focus at scientific, political, and educational conferences and meetings during 2009, but we also want special national and international events. Please begin thinking about how your Project or your National Committee will celebrate IPY. Please contact Rhian ( or Dave ( with your ideas, and please join one of the IPY discussion groups in which international plans will evolve. A list of discussion groups can be found at 5. Workshop and summer school opportunities for students. Many polar institutions and organizations offer summer school opportunities and travel support for workshops. Please send information about any workshops, summer schools, or other student opportunities to APECS would like to compile a list of these resources to share with young researchers around the world. Visit the APECS website,, or contact Jenny Baeseman, Director at 6. The Legacies of IPY IPY will, we hope, have many legacies, large and small. On the large side we anticipate improved and expanded observational networks, on- going data exchange practices and systems, and continued international polar science collaboration. On the smaller side we might find many informal networks and practical activities, including the IPY web site and other activities coordinated by the IPO or by Project Coordinators of various IPY Projects. Many supporting activities may prove useful to the on-going success of the larger legacies. For these, IPO should identify willing partners to accept responsibility for their continuation. Other supporting or coordinating activities should end as the IPO and IPY Projects end, but may need recording or archiving. In either case, and for large and small legacies, IPO advocates a timely, deliberate and active identification and decision process to develop optimal partnerships and to prevent unintended loss of any parts or records. The IPO develops a list of the supporting activities, under the general categories of formal networks and committees, informal networks and working groups, and information systems and sources. Many of the activities and systems developed as part of IPY Projects fit into these categories: your networks of researchers, your steering committees, your websites and newsletters. Of course not everything in the IPO or in the IPY Projects can or should continue. However, we solicit your ideas about activities in your Projects that might provide scientific value after IPY. We will add those activities to the IPY list, and publish the entire list for potential partners to view. This activity reminds us that almost all of our work, in IPO and in the IPY Projects, has the potential to create a legacy for polar science and for science in general.