Live Events

Arctic Live! 2014

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During spring 2014, Digital Explorer travelled to the Arctic as part of a two week long, live, Arctic education event supported by Catlin Group Limited. Students from around the world were invited to interact live with a science expedition at the Natural Environment Research Council base at Ny Alesund, Svalbard which at 79°N is the most northerly permanent settlement.

Over 3,000 students between the ages of seven and 16 took part in ‘Frozen Oceans Live’ through Skype in the classroom whilst thousands more were able to follow the expedition to the Arctic via the Digital Explorer blog, social media and the accompanying, curriculum-based educational resources.

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Linking up live with Digital Explorer’s Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop and Dr Helen Findlay of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, students were able to meet scientists and explorers on the expedition. They could see for themselves the vast, white Arctic environment and got the chance to ask the team anything from ‘have you seen a polar bear?’ to questions about the experiments they were conducting.

The science team were investigating Ocean Acidification, the process by which atmospheric carbon dioxide is absorbed into the oceans and through chemical changes increases ocean acidity. The Arctic acts as a bellwether for acid levels in our seas and their impact on the marine ecosystem. Acidification is thought to happen here faster than anywhere else.

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Feedback from teachers was very positive: “To me, this is a fresh teaching experience and being able to talk live to the Arctic has shown that learning need not be confined to the textbooks. This will definitely make students’ learning more relevant and authentic”. Daniel Chng, KS3 science teacher, Singapore

And the students found the experience informative: “We learned about the research with krill and the information about carbon dioxide pollution was interesting. Jamie showed us the area around him which helped me picture where he was better. He also informed us on how we could help the krill by cutting down on vehicle use which contributes to pollution”. Emily, Year 8, Jonesville Middle School, Virginia, USA

Arctic14 Reed Elementary School, Missouri USA

Frozen Oceans Live has been an amazing opportunity to share life and science in the frozen north with students around the world. We hope that through this experience young people will reflect on how they can play a role in preserving this fragile and beautiful ecosystem for future generations.

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