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Students Get Out of the Classroom to Learn from Arctic Researchers

Posted on March 12, 2019

Participants from 20+ schools experienced fieldwork activities in “Winnipeg’s Arctic” — outside on a frozen lake at FortWhyte Alive.

We're big believers in the impacts of experiential education — and here it is in action.

FortWhyte Alive hosted the 10th annual Arctic Science Day on Thursday, March 7th, a day of cold winds but bright sun.

150+ junior high and high school students came to FortWhyte Alive last week for a day of hands-on fieldwork to understand the impacts of climate change on the Arctic.

Arctic Science Day is a free educational opportunity that introduces students and educators to the people, ideas and methods behind climate change research in the Arctic.

Learning stations are led by Arctic scientists and researchers from University of Manitoba - Centre for Earth Observation Sciences and Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Scientists teach youth about Arctic science – physics, chemistry and biology – and share how their research is helping us to understand how warming temperatures caused by climate change are impacting Arctic ecosystems and communities.

Over 70 high school students from 15 different urban and rural schools spent the day visiting research stations on remote Lake Cargill, learning about the dynamics of snow, ice, sunlight, heat, freshwater, and saltwater. Stations covered polar bear, seal and whale research, studies of micro-organisms under sea ice, ocean acidification, toxins and contaminants research, Arctic archaeology, remote sensing technology and more.

At the Interpretive Centre, over 80 middle years students from four schools learned about the challenges of oil spill cleanup in the Arctic, what it’s like to research marine mammals (including touching a real narwhal tusk), and how ice, water, and warming temperatures are affecting life in the Arctic Ocean.

The goal is to inspire and inform youth about future career options in science and environmental studies, and to get them thinking about the role they can play in their own communities to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and human impact on our shared environment.

In the words of an inspired high school student, “I realized how important Arctic research is for understanding and conserving Arctic wildlife, as well as how relevant Arctic research is today.”

A big thank you to FortWhyte Alive volunteers, as well as Dr. John Iacozza, Executive Director of CEOS, and more than 20 graduate students and scientists who took time away from their busy schedules to inspire the next generation.

Thanks to support for Hands-On Science Days from:

Interested in getting involved in Arctic Science Day? Send us an email to explore partnership opportunities for this one-of-a-kind learning experience.