Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


© Ricardo Matias, Jukes Liu, Linde van Bets, Henrik Christiansen, Quentin Jossart (left to right)

Polar Week logo2 01

The polar regions support a rich array of life, inlcuding northern communities. Whether it's in the Arctic or Antarctic, scientists from all over the world are working together to increase our knowledge of the cryosphere and its inhabitants. It is for this spirit of international cooperation and the excitement of scientific discovery that the APECS proudly supports International Polar Week.

APECS uses this opportunity to plan & develop polar science related activities alongside teachers, educators and those interested in polar education for the equinoxes of each year. The equinoxes in March and September are the only time when everywhere on earth the day length is 12 hours, a perfect opportunity to celebrate the poles on a global scale! 

For questions on how to join contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


How to Participate in Polar Weeks?

Polar WeeksYou want to participate in the International Polar Week but you don't know how? We post some suggestions for activities always on the current International Polar Week Page! Check this out for some ideas.

You can find others some good suggestions for education and outreach activities in the Polar Outreach Catalogue on the APECS website or have a look at the Polar Resource Book - Polar Science and Global Climate: An International Resource for Education and Outreach.

If you have ideas of your own or have questions, please contact the APECS with questions at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have an activity that you are planning for an upcoming International Polar Week, let us know about it and we can add it to the list of activities planned for that week. And don't forget to send us a summary article how the event / activity went afterwards, for our APECS News

For Polar Weeks, we usually also include a map where you can Pin yourself activity and add your activity to the map. Let us know what type of activity you are doing , whether it is a classroom activity or a public talk. Watch the maps and see where other people are celebrating the Polar Week! We'd love to know what you are doing to highlight the global impacts of changes in the polar regions. Send pictures and stories to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Check the upcoming Polar Week page for more info. 

Ideas for educators:

pin1) A fun activity is to create a game for your students. Choose a series of words (ice, water, north pole, south pole, Antarctica, Arctic, penguins, polar bears, seals, whales, dolphins, igloos, trees...) or use images. The same number of strips of white paper will also be distributed so the students can write new words and include it in the game. You will also need globes or printed maps. Divide the class into small groups. Distribute the words (or images) and strips of blank paper between the groups and ask to each group to place the images in the most appropriate area - Arctic - Antarctica or outside areas (use a creative way to fix the answers in the globe or map). Each group must not see each other's answers. After a few minutes, have the groups present their work and then make the necessary arrangements. The winning group is the one with the highest number of correct answers!

2) An Internet search is a great activity to create an opportunity for students to do some self-directed research in an issue of their own interest. Example topics can include "What are the main differences between the diversity of the Arctic and Antarctic? What are the main problems affecting these environments? What are the characteristics of the human population that lives in the Arctic? What is the Antarctic Treaty? The climate of the poles influences all Earth?..." Each group could present their work to the class (or to other students in the school) to spread the knowledge about the poles!

3) Would you like to include a talk from a researcher that works in the polar environment? APECS is connected with researchers across the globe that would be happy to give a lecture and answer questions from your students during Polar Week! 

Ideas for Students:

studentsTalk to your teacher and suggest activities for Polar Week! You can use the ideas above or do something by yourself as suggested below:

1) You know enough about the poles? Perfect! How about proposing a lecture to your colleagues? This is a very easy way to call everyone's attention to the importance of the poles for the planet!

2) Wouldn't it be much more cool to involve several classes at Polar Week activities? How about proposing an Polar Knowledge Olympics? Much work? Not if you think about how much fun it will be! You have to count with the collaboration of teachers from all disciplines! Each teacher may prepare a five to ten questions and each class can perform the discussion first among the students in the class and then among the best of each class! Students can randomly select questions from a box and when they miss two questions, they are replaced by the next candidate. Maybe arrange the Olympics by age group. So it will be fair to everyone! And then don't forget to tell us who was the winner of each age group! Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

3) The curriculum for your class is set and you have no way to include something new? How about coordinating an extra-study group on the poles? You can talk to your colleagues and friends and a place in the school may be used to do research! Need more directions? Please contact us: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ideas for College Students or Research Institutions

1) Host a polar or cryosphere related reading group! Select a few papers for a group to read over and talk about current trends in polar or cryosphere research. In the APECS website you can find suggestions on Polar Journals. Google scholar is other great place to start search for any polar related topics.

2) Do you have a polar research group at your school or institution? Organize a small research symposium, where a small group gives short presentations on their work with a question and answer session after each. This would be a great opportunity for young researchers to practice their presenting skills. It's also a great way for groups to talk about the research they do to a general audience.

3) Host a polar movie night! There are a number of great polar or cryosphere related documentaries available, e.g. "Chasing Ice" from James Balog. Another interesting documentary is BBC frozen planet. And there are many more! Gather your friends and colleagues and perhaps a few tasty treats and learn about the changing Polar regions.

Suggestions of websites:

International Polar Days: lots of resources and multi-lingual activities around a polar theme

Time for kids: cool activities about Antarctic environment

Our Spaces: fun facts about Antarctica


Contact APECS

APECS International Directorate
Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research
Telegrafenberg A45
14473 Potsdam
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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