NewswireToday - /newswire/ -
Minneapolis, MN, United States, 2006/01/24 - In February 2006, K-12 students across the world will once again be able to explore the Arctic as they participate in the Adventure Learning program: GoNorth! Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 2006 - PolarHusky.com.
Led by polar explorer Paul Pregont, an international team of men and women will embark on a 700-mile journey across the Alaskan Arctic by dogsled while delivering to classrooms worldwide a K-12 online curriculum centered on the realities of oil exploration and the search for renewable resources.
GoNorth! will also feature a new component not seen in previous Adventure Learning expeditions. For two weeks of the journey, Amy Vargason, an elementary school teacher from Pennsylvania, will experience life in the Arctic firsthand and help deliver the online curriculum to more than 2,500 schools in the United States alone.
“This is an amazing opportunity to be part of such an important educational adventure,” said Vargason, “My students and I participated in the online curriculum during Arctic Transect 2004 and found it to be an incredible experience. Adventure Learning is one of the most unique and effective ways to get students excited about learning while they gain a deeper understanding about the effects of global climate change.”
Through the use of sophisticated telecommunications technology, GoNorth! will use the Internet as their primary teaching tool. The program’s state-of the-art, interactive web site, polarhusky.com, enables students worldwide to interact and collaborate with topic experts, other users, and GoNorth! team members live in the field. The robust online environment also includes a variety of multi-media tools that allows the audience to experience the Arctic as if they were there themselves.
“With this expedition, we are trying to bring global and social environmental awareness into the K-12 curriculum,” said Aaron Doering, Ph.D., University of Minnesota professor and GoNorth! education director. “By specifically looking at the debate regarding the consumption of world resources and the need for renewable resources, we are increasing students’ awareness of this important issue.”
The Educational Program
Developed and conducted by the University of Minnesota in partnership with NOMADS Online Classroom Expeditions, GoNorth! is based on the successful model of Adventure Learning, which shares firsthand the experiences of the dogsled expedition and draws the public and students into the environmental study. The journey also addresses a national need for engaging authentic learning experiences in the K-12 classroom as a significant online tool to improve learning for all students.
Researching Global Climate Change
While collaborating with students and teachers live in the online learning environment, the expedition team will specifically document environmental field realities relevant to understanding patterns of climate change. This scientific research is conducted in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation.
About the College of Education and Human Development - University of Minnesota
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota is consistently ranked as one of the top twenty departments of curriculum and instruction in the country. In addition, the department is surrounded by a world class university that was recently ranked as one of the top three public research universities in the nation. The department combines award-winning teaching, research and service in a way that most other universities in the nation can not.
NOMADS Adventure & Education is a forerunner in the concept of Adventure Learning. For the past 10 years, NOMADS has given students worldwide opportunities to collaborate and learn while participating in Arctic exploration. Dedicated to developing multi-disciplinary, standard-aligned curricula, NOMADS’ mission is to enable teachers in K-12 classrooms to use advanced interactive telecommunications and technology as teaching tools. Beginning in 1999, NOMADS Online Classroom Expeditions is an annual program offered to teachers and students worldwide using the Arctic and traditional culture as a springboard for interactive, multi-disciplinary learning in a unique collaborative online classroom infrastructure supported by IBM Lotus Development and Connectria.