Discovering Polar Science - Université Laval
This outreach event was planned and organized by a team of scientists and graduate students at the Université Laval, Quebec Canada, with the support of the ArcticNet Student Association and Schools on Board, in conjunction with the upcoming International Polar Week. During this workshop, the grade 5 students from Amédée-Boutin primary school were introduced to the northern ecosystem and the importance of polar scientific research. The day prior to the workshop, the class was introduced to the Arctic, its geographic location and spread, and its various components. The presentation concluded with the importance of studying the arctic ecosystem to better understand the impacts of climate change. The students were given the chance to actually live polar science through a succession of small stations on various types of sampling that we, as polar scientists, conduct regularly in the field. The sampling itself took place on the 23 February 2010 (a few days before the official Polar Week due to school holidays and the weak reliability of lake ice in mid-march) at the Duschesnay faunal reserve, near Québec city.After the lunch break, everyone returned to the school where we set up 4 more stations to analyse the collected samples via observations with a microscope for the water, ice and snow, and a binocular magnifying glass for the benthos. Two new stations were presented, one on the permafrost and another on arctic animals. The day ended with a short game of questions and answers (jeopardy) for which the children had to use their newly acquired knowledge to play. This event immersed the students in the scientific process of Arctic research. It was a great success, enjoyed by students, teachers and participating scientists.
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