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ANDRILL sea ice camp in 2005.
Photo Credit: Gary Hochman
ANDRILL sea ice camp during the 2005-06 summer field season. This year's team led by Stephen Pekar will likely set up a similar camp on the sea ice, from which they will send out live reports about their work to school children and the public.

New Harbor outreach

Science group teams with numerous organizations for education from the field

Stephen Pekar’s science team can expect to put in long, cold days as it slowly crawls across the sea ice to image ancient sediments for the ANDRILL project External Non-U.S. government site.

But the members of the Offshore New Harbor project External Non-U.S. government site will also fill a busy schedule with an ambitious and expansive education and outreach program. The expedition is collaborating with about 10 educational organizations that will include live videoconferences to schools around the world, as well as blogs and Web casts.

“I feel very fortunate to have all of these organizations working with us,” Pekar said.

Two of Pekar’s students, Howard Koss and Andrea Balbas will participate in the ongoing Ice Stories project External Non-U.S. government site supported by the Exploratorium, a San Francisco-based science museum External Non-U.S. government site, by providing field reports with video and photos. The Global Nomads Group External Non-U.S. government site, an international organization that creates interactive educational programs for students about global issues, will work with ANDRILL’s outreach program on live videoconferences.

The expedition will also collect real-time weather data from its field camp and post the information on the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Web site External Non-U.S. government site. GLOBE is a science education program partly supported by the National Science Foundation.

In addition, Pekar has invited a Harlem middle school teacher from Promise Academy External Non-U.S. government site, a public charter school, to join the team on the Ice. “I was looking to recruit a teacher from an inner city school. I think diversity is nice,” Pekar said.

The teacher, Shakira Brown, worked as a biologist and was a Fulbright scholar, according to Pekar. “She was somebody who already had a passion for the sciences and already understood the language of science, even if she wasn’t a geologist per se, and she is simply a dynamic teacher.”

The Promise Academy is part of the Harlem Children’s Zone External Non-U.S. government site, a community-based not-for-profit that offers education, social services and community-building programs to children and families in Central Harlem.

Brown said she plans to teach her students — along with dozens of others through the Urban Science Corps External Non-U.S. government site, a NASA External U.S. government site-affiliated, nationwide after-school program she is helping to develop — with lessons live from Antarctica via the video conferences and blogs.

“I’m a young African-American teacher who came from a public school education, from an urban environment,” Brown told the New York Times in an interview External Non-U.S. government site. “My mom made less than $30,000 a year, and she raised me and four brothers. Now I’m in a position to empower all these people to have the same path that I was on.”

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Curator: Peter Rejcek, Antarctic Support Contract | NSF Official: Winifred Reuning, Division of Polar Programs