October 5-9, 2009
October Polar Week will focus on recruiting new individual and institutional partners, will stimulate increased engagement by polar partners, and will highlight classroom activities developed for the new IPY Polar Resource Book. This polar week will feature fresh accessible science, live events, fun classroom activities, virtual balloon launches and spontaneous global inter-connections - activities that have made IPY Polar Days effective and enjoyable.
Although most of us will never encounter sea ice or permafrost, see mountain glaciers, or meet a free-living penguin, we can recognize the impacts of polar changes on our global systems, on our weather and climate, and on our neighbors in many parts of the world. This Polar Week will provide you with the opportunity to explore the many changes in polar regions.
Download the flyer about October Polar Week.
There are many ways you can get involved in October Polar Week. We have chosen five activities that are representative of the wide range of education and outreach activities that have resulted from the innovative science of the IPY.
- Contribute to a worldwide public lecture series. Show your polar enthusiasm by organizing a presentation about polar environments for your local Rotary, 4-H, Boy Scout/ Girl Scout troop, church group, school association, city council, university, or wherever your community gathers!
- Learn about the linkages in polar ecosystems. Discover how polar organisms depend on each other. What happens to these food webs when one or several organisms disappear?
- Explore polar changes through the IPY Polar Books collection. Access a virtual library full of books, book excerpts, posters, photos, artwork, teachers’ guides and activity sheets. Take your class on an adventure as you explore changes in the polar regions.
- Join a discussion on the future of the Arctic. Understand and act the roles of experts, advocates, and decision-makers in a discussion of the benefits and costs of commercial resource extraction versus natural resource protection for Arctic regions.
- Investigate the physical and biological complexity of sea ice. What properties of sea ice, different from freshwater ice, allow it to support surprising ecosystems?
- CKLB Radio - Discussion of the future of the Arctic: Students had the opportunity to participate in an in-class role play exercise to begin to understand the complexity of the situation in the Arctic and the conflicts of interest between economic, environmental and social issues. The roles in the activity were politician, NGO, researcher and economist. Community perspectives were represented as well by studio panelists. Students took part in the activity in their classroom and then presented the outcomes of their discussion live or via pre-recorded statements and questions. Questions were posed to the panelists by participants from Canada, Brazil, Portugal, Norway and Greenland.
Event Date: Thursday, October 8th
Event Time: 9:00 AM MDT (1500 UTC)
Access: There is a podcast of the radio show @ CKLB audio library, search for "Ends of the Earth", and look for October 12 Show 38, Segment 1 & 2.
- PolarTREC - Live from IPY: Polar Bear Response to Sea Ice Loss: Hosted a real-time live event with PolarTREC teacher, Cristina Galvan and the University of Wyoming scientists led by Dr. Merav Ben-David. The team was studying polar bear response to sea ice loss in the Arctic Ocean.
Event Date: Thursday, October 8th
Event Time: 7:30 am Alaska Daylight Time (1430 UTC)Source for Activities
The activities for October Polar Week are drawn from submissions for the Polar Resource Book (Polar Science and Global Climate) which is being created by IPY’s Education and Outreach Working Group in conjunction with APECS.
In an attempt to ensure efforts catalyzed by IPY will continue to inspire educators, students, and emerging polar researchers into the next generation a group of young, international, polar researchers with a shared commitment to outreach and education have created the Polar Resource Book. The Book is a response to continual requests from educators and scientists wishing to raise awareness about the importance of polar science during a time of rapid planet-wide climate change. The project has received support from a vide range of actors whom are a part of the IPY community, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), as well as the University of the Arctic, the United National Environment Program (UNEP), and the organizing committee for the flagship IPY Science Conference to be held in Norway in June 2010.
Your feedback is needed
The editors and authors of the Polar Resource Book are interested in your feedback on the five activities that we have chosen from Polar Science and Global Climate. We have prepared a set of questions related to any of the resources and that will help us respond to the specific requirements of our future readers. Please download the questionnaire here.
Launch a Virtual Balloon
Please launch a balloon and let us know what type of activity you are doing this week whether it is a classroom activity or a public talk. We'd love to know what you are doing to highlight the global impacts of changes in the polar regions.
Take a look at where other people are taking part in October Polar Week 2009.
The International Polar Year 2007-8 is a large international and interdisciplinary coordinated research effort focused on the polar regions. It is planned and sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU) and the World Meteorological Organizations (WMO). An estimated 50,000 participants from more than 60 countries are involved in research as diverse as anthropology and astronomy, health and history, and genomics and glaciology. This IPY was launched in March 2007, and will continue through early 2009. During this IPY, a regular sequence of International Polar Days will raise awareness and provide information about particular and timely aspects of the polar regions. These Polar Days include press releases, contacts to experts in several languages, activities for teachers, on-line community participation, web-conferencing events, and links to researchers in the Arctic and Antarctic. The complete schedule for past International Polar Days can be found at the following link.
Photos by permission from David Carlson.