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Summary Page: 2016 Antarctica - cool science in action
Term 4 starting 9 November 2016.



Photo: LEARNZ Teacher Shelley Hersey at Scott`s Terra Nova hut at Cape Evans, 25km from Scott Base. The 2016 field trip will visit this hut, Shackelton`s hut at Cape Royds and Hillary`s hut at Scott Base.

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A 2016 LEARNZ virtual field trip. This year Microsoft are partnering with CORE Education and the Ministry of Education, to take you south to explore 100 years of Antarctic science and exploration. This very exciting project is enabled by Antarctica New Zealand and the Antarctic Heritage Trust.

You can also join us in Term 3 in August and September as we follow Expedition South.

Go to the Expedition South and Antarctica website for more about Expedition South, The Trans Antarctic Expedition, and The International Geophysical Year. Meet Al Fastier - vintage tractor driver for Expedition South.

Expedition South is an Antarctic Heritage Trust expedition to drive vintage tractors 2,012 kms on New Zealand roads from Tuakau (near Auckland) to Aoraki Mt Cook. They'll be travelling on the same model of tractor and the same distance that Ed Hillary drove on his 'Dash to the Pole' from Scott Base to the South Pole in 1958, as part of the Commonwealth Trans Antarctic Expedition (TAE). We will meet expedition leader Al and the crew as they journey down the country and learn more about Hillary, the TAE expedition and the conservation project to save Hillary's original hut at Scott Base.

We will join the expedition as it visits schools (look out for the videos) and invite you to put your questions to Al and the crew during live audioconferences! Enrol in the Antarctic field trip to be sure to get updates about Expedition South.


Edmund Hillary on a Massey Ferguson tractor in Antarctica: Image Canterbury Museum


Antarctic veteran, Al, on a Massey Ferguson tractor in NZ: Image Antarctica New Zealand

At the end of 2016, you will be going to a place that has fascinated explorers and scientists for over 100 years; Antarctica. Unlike early adventurers, you won't be sailing there - you will be flying on a C17 Globemaster that will land on the Antarctic sea ice! it will be about -20°C and your first steps will fill your senses to overflowing: your eyes getting accustomed to the bright light, the weird sound your boots make on dry snow, strange sensations as the snot in your nose freezes, nothing man-made toward the horizon to help you judge distance, the thought that you and the 265 tonne Globemaster are sitting on 1.5m of ice over sea water hundreds of metres deep - and that's just the start!

Your friends on this trip are Antarctic scientists, historians and preservation experts from the Antarctic Heritage Trust (AHT). You will complete a survival training course; join other Antarcticans for meals in the Scott Base dining room; join morning meetings to plan the day's activity and travel to remote, historic huts and see how cool science was and is really done! We'll look after the RAMS forms - all you need to do is enrol your class!

This will be the 12th LEARNZ field trip to Antarctica in a year (2016) which celebrates the 60th birthday of Scott Base. The opportunities for student involvement and interaction during this trip will ensure their learning is very real.

Teacher comments

"It was great to have people there in real time - it connected the students to the context. It was fantastic where they could type questions to the experts even though they didn't have a speaking role". Sarah Prescott from Waimate High School

"The unit was an excellent opportunity to integrate the Principles, Values, Key Competencies across a range of curriculum areas within authentic learning situations. The students really enjoy the online learning resources, especially the audio conferences". Brigid Conaglen from Clifton Terrace Model School

Go to more comments about Antarctic field trips.

In preparation for this field trip you will learn about:

  • 100 years of science in Antarctica
  • Captain Scott's early 1900s Antarctic scientific work in biology, zoology, geology, and meteorology
  • the significance of Antarctica in the development of international science during the heroic era and since the 1957/58 International Geophysical Year (IGY)
  • Antarctica as a place for scientific research
  • the importance of Antarctic science in helping us understand the dynamic world we live in

During the field trip you will:

  • see Shelley's tweets on twitter
  • travel to Antarctica aboard a giant C17 Globemaster
  • complete a survival training course
  • investigate and recreate Antarctic science from the heroic era by visiting Shackleton's Cape Royds Base, Scott's Cape Evans Base and Scott's Hut Point Base with experts from Antarctic Heritage Trust (AHT)
  • Investigate and recreate Antarctic science from the IGY era by visiting Hillary's TAE (Trans-Antarctic Expedition) hut with experts from AHT as they work to conserve the building and artefacts
  • Investigate contemporary Antarctic science by visiting a 2016 science field party
  • Meet artist Gabby O'Connor during your visit to K131's field camp. See how Gabby is recording her observations of platelet ice and how art and science can work together

By the end of the field trip:

  • students will have gained knowledge, skills and experience to understand how exploration and innovation create opportunities and challenges for people, places and environment (Social Studies Level 4)
  • students will have gained understanding about the Nature of Science - understanding science, investigating in science, communicating in science, participating and contributing (Science Levels 2-4)

After the field trip:

  • invite someone from your community who has been to Antarctica to share their experiences with your class

Where you will go

2016 LEARNZ Antarctica field trip. Why Antarctica? Antarctica has been a place for science research for over 100 years. History and science are uniquely intertwined on this great continent. Did you know that Scott's expeditions in the early 1900s had both exploration and scientific aims? Antarctica is much studied because of its harsh environment and its major affect on world oceans and weather patterns. In late 2016, you will take the 5 hour flight from Christchurch to Antarctica aboard a C17 Globemaster aircraft.

Through Antarctic Field Training and living at Scott Base you can investigate how people working in Antarctica stay safe, maintain personal well-being and relationships with other people, and take responsibility for reducing their impact upon the environment. After Antarctic Field Skills Training you will be experienced and ready to join groups at Scott Base (2km from McMurdo station) in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. Temperatures in Antarctica in October/November can be as low as -40°C. You will need to be very well prepared.

Learning Areas/Levels

Health and Physical Education: Personal Health and Physical Development Levels 2-4, Relationships with Other People Levels 2-4, Healthy Communities and Environments Levels 2-4; Science: Nature of Science Levels 2-4, Material World Levels 2-4, Planet Earth and Beyond Levels 2-4, Earth and Space Science Levels 7-8; Social Sciences: Geography Level 6; Social Studies: Place and Environment Levels 2-5, Continuity and Change Levels 2-5; The Arts: Visual Arts Levels 2-4

  • Vision, Values, Key Competencies, Principles, Literacy and Numeracy

    By their nature, LEARNZ field trips integrate with the higher levels of the NZ Curriculum. Participation encourages development of the Key Competencies around Thinking, Using language, symbols and text, Managing self, Relating to others, and Participating and contributing. Teachers indicate this in testimonials. LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Literacy, with opportunities to develop skills in Listening, Reading and Viewing and in Speaking, Writing and Presenting. More about LEARNZ as a Reading Resource and student writing opportunities with LEARNZ. Select LEARNZ field trips have support and activities for Numeracy, encouraging the development of skills in Number and Algebra, in Statistics and in Geometry and Measurement.

  • ESOL

    As well as providing visual and audio material and access to real experiences, LEARNZ links well to ESOL Principles, especially Principle 3 Maintain and make explicit the same learning outcomes for all the learners. How can I make the lesson comprehensible to all students? How can I plan the learning tasks so that all the students are actively involved? Do my students understand the learning outcomes? Principle 4 Begin with context embedded tasks which make the abstract concrete. How can I put these concepts into a concrete context?

  • What's in a Field Trip

    Every LEARNZ field trip has its own newly-built, self-contained web site ready for integration into your teaching and learning programme. Teacher Support has curriculum integration, resources, newsletters, support and evaluation. Prepare Students provides opportunities for student inquiry on two sets of image-rich background pages at reading levels 2 years apart, (students can click to have those pages read to them out loud), online interactive and other activities to check students' understanding, and a glossary. During the field trip there are live tweets on twitter, and daily additions such as a diary, video clips, profiles of the experts (ideal careers education), a photo gallery, and ambassador (mascot) page updates. Live web conferences via Adobe Connect enable teachers to managed students putting prepared and spontaneous questions to experts (recorded for replay). After the field trip, teachers are encouraged to take further action with their class in the community or to go on a related field trip, or to invite a guest speaker, or to present what they have learned to a wider group. Teachers also fill in an online evaluation (more about reflective practice), the field trip prize winner is drawn, and the final newsletter is sent. Content remains online for continued use.

  • How teachers use LEARNZ

    View teacher comments in testimonials and in the LEARNZ Group on the VLN. There are two main ways teachers use a LEARNZ virtual field trip with their class. Firstly, a LEARNZ field trip is ideally an immersive, engaging, synchronous, online learning experience with real-time components and a myriad of opportunities for teachers and students. Secondly, and less ideal but still effective, a LEARNZ field trip can be used as a retrospective experience where the resources such as photos, text, activities, videos and audioconferences/web conferences comprise a unique collection of authentic, contemporary New Zealand teaching and learning material.

  • What Now

    Not Registered with LEARNZ? Are you a New Zealand Registered or Provisionally-Registered Teacher? Register free with LEARNZ Now.

    Already Registered with LEARNZ and activated your account? Log in to your personal MyLEARNZ Control Panel and then enrol your classes at no cost in field trips. Note: Enrolment is only needed for the current and future year's field trips.

    Registered but need help? Check your email for activation instructions - contact us if the message did not make it to your email inbox. Log on to MyLEARNZ. Go to Getting Started.

    Teachers - Lost your password? Recover it here.

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Introductory video for this field trip: Watch, embed or share on Vimeo or click below to watch here.



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Shelley the LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher.

Meet Shelley, your LEARNZ Field Trip Teacher

Inquiry Topics: adaptations, Antarctica, biodiversity, carbon cycle, climate change, ecology, environment, explorers, food webs, freezing, glaciation, heritage, human impacts, ice, life cycle, marine communities, marine research, monitoring change, oceans, Offshore, scientific research, sustainability

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