2023 Virtual Classroom Programs

Click to download the program flyer and VTC schedule.

Educators: Sign-up now to join Polar Scientists on a research expedition to Antarctica

We are currently recruiting 12-18 educators and their students (grades 5-9) to join the Palmer Station Long-term Ecological Research Program (PAL LTER) team on their 2023 field season in Antarctica.

Students will learn about Antarctic food web ecology and how scientists are using long-term experiments to understand our changing climate.  Classes will engage in classroom learning, follow scientists using social media, and participate in a Video Teleconference call (VTC) to Antarctica!  

The project supports the NGSS science practices such as planning and carrying out investigations, data analysis, modeling and asking testable questions.  

How does it work?

Requirements for Participation: 

  • Step #1 – Professional Development
    Each educator will attend a research team meeting with scientists and educators at Rutgers University via Zoom on December 7, 2022, 4 pm ET.
    • Important! Youth will be asked to fill out pre and post surveys to help us measure the impact of the program.  Educators will also need to collect student consent forms. 

  • Step #2 – Implement Classroom Lessons
    Educators will implement lesson plans to help prepare their students, using one of the following options: 
    • Data to the Rescue: Penguins Need our Help! Join Dr. Cimino’s team researching penguin species in Antarctica.  Students will complete 4 lesson modules
    • ID Antarctica: Join Andrew Corso in helping to identify critters living in Antarctica. Students will complete 5 practice identification and then 5 live identifications through media posts from Andrew during the field season.
    • When Whale I see you again? Join the whale research team in their work to track migrating humpback whales.  Students will complete the When Whale I see you again data nugget in preparation for their video teleconference call. 

  • Step #3 – Video Teleconference to Antarctica
    • Each educator will participate in a test video call prior to their scheduled 30-minute call with Palmer Station. 
    • Students will submit 10 questions for their VTC with scientists.  Questions are due 48 hours in advance of the call. Each school will get one 30-minute call, shared with 2 other schools.

How do I Apply?

The application closed on November 21, 2022

Educators will be notified by December 2, 2022 of their acceptance into the program. 

You can find recordings of past classroom video teleconferences here.