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  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.

The first International Polar Year was scheduled from 1881-1884. 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, and Washington.


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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For more information contact webseminars@nsta.org


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