Polar Week September 2012

Join us for Polar Week September 2012!

Join our bi-annual International Polar Week Celebration featuring a variety of presentations and activities September 16 - 22, 2012!

International Polar Week coincides with the fall equinox, one of two times a year when everyone on the planet gets 12 hours of sunlight. We want to celebrate on a global scale by focusing on the science being conducted in the Arctic and Antarctic. Inspired by the many great things that came out of the International Polar Year celebrations, we hope that the bi-annual Polar Week celebration will link people in polar science and polar education.

You can join the celebration in a number of ways

ENGAGE in a GLOBAL activity. Flakes, Blobs, Bubbles: An Ice Core Art Project explores how ice sheets and glaciers form as well as explores why and how scientists study ice. The project is available in several different languages. Participate in the biggest polar event of the year!

CONNECT to the POLES with researchers who are working the Arctic and Antarctic through real-time, interactive, webinar events. Multiple events are scheduled for participation from around the globe.

MAKE broader IMPACTS by joining scientists and educators in online discussions on how to bring the polar regions into the classroom and community.

ACCESS polar week ACTIVITIES and presentations online to share with a school or do in your own classroom.

ASK questions and have them answered by SCIENTISTS that work in the poles! We have over 40 scientist ready to answer your questions!

LAUNCH a virtual balloon and watch our learning community grow! 

LEARN about the current RESEARCH being done in polar education, and how you can get involved duing our discipline of the month webinar.

International Polar Week is brought to you through support from APECS, ARCUS, PEI, IASC, and SCAR. Thanks to all our supporters!

If you are interested in getting involved or learning more you can contact the APECS Education and Outreach Committee co-chairs, Heidi Roop (roop.heidi at gmail.com) and Teresa Valkonen (teresa.valkonen at helsinki.fi).


Have you ever wondered about how education research is done? Have you ever thought about exploring more research questions in your education and outreach work?  Well the Outreach and Education Research webinar is for you!

During the International Polar Week Dr. Sandra Zicus and APECS member Lars Poort will be sharing about their education research studies based in Greenland, Malaysia, Brazil and southern Chile.

Join us to learn more about how education research is done, how student and teacher concepts of nature is assessed, and what it can tell us about outreach that will help us shape more effective outreach and education programs.

When: Tuesday September 18th, 2012 at 1700 GMT

Where: APECS Online meeting system

How to join: email Jennifer Provencher at jennifpro at gmail.com to register

The role of English in fostering international understanding and collaboration to address issues of global concern (Sandra Zicus)

International collaboration is more important than ever before in an age of increasing globalisation, rapidly expanding population, and escalating stresses on our environmental and social resources. English has become the de facto international language for both science and government policy. How does this affect the perceptions of people in non-English speaking countries towards these issues, and their ability to participate in discussions and generation of solutions?

The ultimate goal of the research is to illuminate ways in which international environmental outreach programs can become more effective in promoting understanding of both environmental issues and the importance of local cultures and languages, as well as encouraging collaboration and cooperation in the generation of solutions to the issues.

Science education in the public schools of Greenland (Lars Poort)

Greenland is facing unprecedented international attention on its natural resources. Education in science and on what nature and environment is, is therefore of growing importance. One might ask: What is the goal of science education?

The project 'Science education in the public schools of Greenland' has a focus on how science is taught, and students' and teachers' concepts of nature and science. The project is a qualitative study, focusing on three diverse educational settings.


Sandra Zicus

In ‘past lives’, I have worked as a science and environmental educator and communicator with teachers, students, rural landowners, non-governmental organisations, and resource management agencies in Australia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines and the United States. I earned my PhD in Geography from the University of Hawai’i in the Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology Program, and have always been intrigued by the way different parts of our world connect and interact.

I moved to Australia in 2002 and worked as a lecturer at the University of Queensland for three years before relocating to Tasmania. In Tasmania, I was involved in Antarctic research and education for six years through positions with the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) and the International Antarctic Institute (IAI). I also served as co-chair of the International Polar Year (IPY) Education, Outreach, and Communications subcommittee from 2006-2010. Because I want to find ways to improve communication and collaboration on global environmental issues, I decided to become a student again and pursue a PhD in the Faculty of Education at the University of Tasmania.

Lars Poort

As long as I can remember back, I have had a strong fascination for the Arctic/Antarctic. After having finished a teaching degree in geography and  English in Denmark, I moved to the north of Greenland, and for six years I was a teacher at the school in Uummannaq, some 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and at the school in Qaanaaq, a further 770 kilometres north. In between teaching hours I finished my MA in Education from the University of Greenland (Nuuk).

In 2008 I moved to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, to take up a position as Science consultant at the Institute of Learning Processes. In the IPY-period I was a member of the IPY Education Working Group.

Science education in Greenland is facing challenges similar to other parts of the world – little pupil interest, unqualified teachers, and a school and time structure that often is experienced as being a hindrance for real experiments and outdoor science.

Beside a strict science education point of view, it is also imperative to have a focus on the fact that Greenland is on the brink of entering a new and different paradigm, that of the extractive industries. Much of current [science] education discourse is focused on feeding into this growing industry.

Because I want to find ways to heighten science education outcome, and answer questions on what science education is about, how nature and environment fit into science education – I decided to pursue a PhD at the Institute of Learning Processes, at the University of Greenland [Ilisimatusarfik].

Get ready for International Polar Week September 2012!

From September 16th to 22nd, 2012 APECS will be hosting our second International Polar Week that aims to connect researchers, students, educators, and all polar enthusiasts. Join in our flagship activity called Flakes, Blobs and Bubbles: An ice core art project! You can also participate in several webinars with researchers and educators passionate about the Poles, or try out our polar week flagship activity in your own classroom. We will have firmed up dates and times soon for all of the events and activities.

If you are interested in getting involved or learning more you can contact the Education and Outreach Committee co-chairs, Heidi Roop (roop.heidi at gmail.com) and Teresa Valkonen (teresa.valkonen at helsinki.fi).


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