Following are education and outreach ideas that can be integrated into your polar research program. The discussions are not as well developed as the other pages at this Web site (but may be in the future). If you are interested in a project, find out if it already is occurring at your institution or if you have colleagues who are involved. Talk to others who have worked on similar endeavors so that you can leverage their success.
On-line Distance Learning Courses
On-line courses bring material to remote audiences via the Internet. Consider offering an on-line course about a polar topic related to your research, or a more broad subject, such as polar adaptations, Antarctic geology, or Arctic tundra ecology. Polar science catches the imagination of the public; with moderate advertisement, you probably will find an audience. On-line courses are very popular. Chances are, someone in your institution already is involved in distance offerings, and will be willing to share their ideas with you. Check out what already is on the Web to get an idea of formats (from weekly seminars to more intense, interactive, polished courses) and audiences (at present, most are geared toward adult learners, teachers, undergraduate and graduate students).
Courses for Teachers
Consider offering an evening or Saturday workshop or course for local K-12 science teachers that focuses on polar topics. Often teachers are eager to keep up with current science information. This also gives them the opportunity to earn graduate credit or professional development time. Pick a focused audience: elementary- or middle- or high-school teachers. Connect with your local school districts to find out what teachers need in terms of content and materials that meet science standards; work to meet standards in the course. There may be teachers who are interested in collaborating with you for course development and implementation. Districts also often have programs that can fund course development and materials. Advertise the course through the district.
Chautauqua Short Courses are an annual series of forums in which researchers meet for several days with undergraduate college teachers of science to provide an opportunity for invited scholars to communicate new knowledge, concepts, and techniques directly to college teachers in ways which are immediately beneficial to their teaching. The primary aim is to enable undergraduate teachers in the sciences to keep their teaching current. Two courses in the polar community include Cosmology at the Millennium, through the University of Chicago, and The Polar Regions: Role in Global Change Studies through Byrd Polar Research Center.
Integrative Biology and Adaptation of Antarctic Marine Organisms is a graduate training course organized and taught at the Crary Science and Engineering Center, in McMurdo for one month. This is a strong model for other field-based courses.
New ideas, suggestions for changes, recommendations for additions, etc. always are welcome and can be mailed to:
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