Kate Grosscurth, deputy headmistress, writes: Year 4 were recently treated to a visit from a real polar explorer as part of their polar environments topic.
Ben Collins, from Education through Expeditions, talked the girls through his many exciting expeditions. They were especially enthralled with his tales of real life polar bear encounters. He showed them all the kit that they would need if they were heading to the polar regions and even let them try on the many layers.
The highlight of day was, apparently, dressing me up in a survival suit and then sending me around all the other classroom looking like an ‘’extremely funny, gummy bear.’’ The girls then worked on planning their own polar expeditions, dividing the roles up between the groups and arranging the kit that they would need.
The ‘Blubber Gloves’ activity used lard, plastic bags and a large bucket of iced water to demonstrate how polar mammals use their blubber to keep them warm. Much screaming ensued as they plunged their hands into the icy water, but they were soon amazed at how well the hand in the ‘blubber glove’ was insulated.
We then moved on to learning how glaciers move by mixing corn flour with water and seeing how this ‘Non-Newtonian’ liquid moved down the mountain models. The girls were amazed with how one moment the mixture was a solid and the next it was a liquid flowing down the mountainside as a glacier would.
The day ended with an extremely interesting question and answer session, both Ben and myself were amazed with the excellent questions.
Polar Fun Day proved not only to be great fun but extremely educational too. Apparently it was ‘’best day at school ever, everyday should be Polar Fun Day’’ and ‘’everyone should ask for cornflour for their birthdays, it is just amazing!’’