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, June 11, 2008

Canadian Geographic IPY Lesson Plans

The following email describes and provides access to lesson plans that have been developed by the Royal Canadian Geographic Society as a contribution to the International Polar Year. When you click onto the web site you will see you can sort plans according to general subject, grade level and provincial / territorial jurisdiction where the lesson plan has been checked to be incompliance with existing curriculum requirements. I haven’t looked through them all but I note that they are laid out with a Lesson overview which includes objectives including linkages to the National Standards for Geography, learning outcomes, resources , links, student worksheets , assessment criteria etc.

he IPY National Committee has been eagerly looking forward to this product. From the early days of IPY planning we had high hopes but few resources to support this effort and I have to commend the RCGS for taking this on.

While I know with summer break just hours away this is probably the last thing students or teachers are thinking about but there is always next year! Please pass on to schools and others in the education business. It might be also worth sending out a reminder next fall.

Ian Church, Senior Science Advisor, Government of Yukon

From: Mary Jane Starr Subject: IPY lesson plans

I am writing on behalf of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society to bring to your attention a new educational resource created to mark International Polar Year (IPY). The Royal Canadian Geographical Society, in collaboration with the Canadian Council for Geographic Education and the Canadian Polar Commission, has developed a set of bilingual lesson plans on Canada's North for elementary, intermediate and secondary schools in Canada.

In support of IPY’s aim to engender the next generation of polar scientists, these lesson plans are certain to kindle an interest in the study of the Canadian North - its human and physical geography, and its past, present and future challenges. They offer teachers and students intriguing opportunities to explore and discover Northern issues from climate change and resource industries to transportation and Inuit settlement.

The lesson plans are freely available for viewing and downloading in word document or PDF formats at

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Polar Venture

Polar Venture: In March 2008, a team of two attempted to ski 200km across the Penny ice cap, unaided and with temperatures reaching as low as -60°C whilst inspiring young people into exploration and climate change through education. The expedition has successfully returned. See expedition links below: Expedition Blog Expedition Photographs MAP: Large map of entire planned route MAP: Detailed map of covered section SPONSOR US"