Most days at Episcopal are amazing…Thursday, January 20 was exceptionally amazing! The second grade is studying the continents and geography in their Project Based Learning unit, “The World Around U.” On this day, they traveled to Antarctica to speak with a scientist who studies seals.
Zachary VanKirk, Upper School math and science teacher, suggested and made the connection between the second grade faculty and the scientists at McMurdo Base through a former colleague. Second grade teacher, Kelly Dorris, then made contact with scientists in Antarctica. Academic Technology Coordinator, James McCrary, and Pollard librarian, Catherine Word, created a great strategy to “talk” to second grade's new friends. After discovering that they could not Skype, because there is not enough bandwidth in Antarctica, Mrs. Kelly set up a phone call. Mr. McCrary set up Google voice so that they could talk to the scientists through the new speaker system in Pollard, while projecting the scientists’ PowerPoint on the Smartboard.
Students were able to watch videos (some previewed to the left) and see pictures of the scientists current locations, while they explained to students what they were seeing. Students and teachers were able to ask questions about everyday life in Antarctica like transportation, food, clothing, weather, etc….
Congratulations to this team and to the students on this amazing, real life visit to Antarctica!
"It was one of the best educational experiences I have seen," said Mrs. Word, "The kids loved it…and so did I!"
“ It was life changing! I can’t believe I was talking to someone in Antarctica. I want to go there some day.” -Jacob Duval
“I like it very much. I learned so much.” -Virginia Kirkpatrick