The Fragile Ice
The History of IPY!
The second of two web seminars on the topic of the
International Polar Year (IPY): The Fragile Ice was held on Tuesday, June 5, 2007,
from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. The presenter was
Mark McCaffrey, Associate Scientist and Science Communications Specialist
at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University
of Colorado in Boulder. Mr. McCaffrey talked about the 125 year legacy and current
activities of IPY. He also shared ideas on how to bring IPY science into the classroom.
Thirty-nine (39) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to
the presenter and the NSTA staff. Participating educators represented the states
of California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri,
New Hampshire , New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia,
This year's International Polar Year (IPY) is the fourth of its kind. The first
IPY took place 125 years ago from 1881-1884. The second and third IPY were scheduled
in 1932 and 1957, respectively. The "First International Polar Year" web site at
NOAA has a plethora of information including images that can be used in the classroom
to compare with the current IPY activities and science discoveries. All participants
received a copy of NSTA's SciGuide titled Living in the Weather, grades 5-8.
Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:
- "Any climate change information/data is valuable and relevant as I can bring
it to my classes and share it with my students."
- "I am an informal outreach educator with a program which revolves around the
subject of Earth's polar regions, therefore this particular seminar was exceptionally
relevant providing valuable additional material and website URL's."
- "Content is part of our curriculum. The new resources will help keep the content
current. I particularly liked the portion in which he placed IPY within a historical
perspective. This really helps teachers make the interdisciplinary connections.
- "Pulling all the information in from the various International Polar Years was
absolutely outstanding. This was so interesting! I want to go through it all again
just as soon as I can."
Thanks to the participants and the presenter for the learning opportunity, the interactions,
and a job well done!
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Underwritten in part by NSF, NASA, and NOAA.