I need thermal layers to avoid hypothermia while studying Weddell Seals in Antarctica.
I work in an urban high school in Springfield, MA. 100% of students receive free meals. Our school is culturally diverse and about 25% students speak English as their second language. My students spend their lives surrounded by concrete and buildings. In my science classroom, I encourage students to explore the world and learn from it. I strive to focus my curriculum on current global issues, teaching my students how to apply the curriculum they are learning to become productive global citizens.
Climate Change is a controversial topic currently in the media. I will be traveling to Antarctica to collect evidence of its effect, by joining a research team studying thermoregulation of Weddell Seals, learning how pups stay warm with low blubber concentration. This experience will expand my STEM education and content knowledge of the effects of climate change and animal adaptations to their environments.
This first-hand experience will allow me to gain an understanding of current research techniques being applied in the field and how scientists analyze data to formulate conclusions, skills that I will incorporate into lesson development to prepare students to be 21st century learners and global citizens.
These developed lessons will incorporate data that I personally collect including Weddell Weal growth rates, blood composition, and diving length time. My project and resources will be shared globally through online learning resources, interactive journaling where students will be in constant communication with me in the field, photo albums, and video conferencing. My experience will continue to benefit the community after my return as I will be conducting workshops and internet seminars for teachers, presentations at multiple schools, and working with a program for home-schooled students. I will share my experience with the goal of inspiring young females to become scientists.
Weddell Seal have blubber, but I don't, I need thermal layers to survive the extreme temperatures of Antarctica. I will be living at McMurdo station for four weeks, traveling out to the annual sea ice daily. We will be working in temperatures that will reach below -30 degrees Fahrenheit and even colder with the extreme wind. Please help me layer up for my investigation that will use the adaptations of adorable Weddell Seals to raise awareness of climate change.
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