‘Normal’ lessons were abandoned in Year 4 on 5 February – Polar Exploration was the order of the day.
The polar fun day kicked off with ‘Expedition Planning,’ which was led by real life polar explorer, Joe Butcher, from Education through Expeditions. After some introductory work on the polar regions, each team divided themselves into the various expedition roles, from leader to treasurer to doctor. Then they had to decide the purpose of their expedition, with ideas ranging from investigating snowfall colours and patterns to observing orcas and penguins in their natural environments. Base locations were established and plotted onto maps, followed by some serious maths working out how many kilometres would be covered, over how many days and by what means of transportation.
Next up was ‘Blubber Gloves’. This activity involved everyone putting one hand in a ‘glove’ made out of sandwich bags filled with lard and then placing their hands into a bucket of icy water. This allowed them to see how the lard worked as an insulator, with the ‘blubber glove’ keeping one hand warm, just like the blubber keeps polar mammals warm. The other hand felt the freezing water.
After lunch ‘Pole to Pole’ was played. This game tested the girls’ knowledge, gained in the morning session as well as in geography lessons, on the differences between the Arctic and Antarctic. The girls then went on to learn about glaciers in a practical way involving modelling clay, corn flour and water, called ‘Gooey glaciers’.
The final part of the day was to learn about the many layers of different kit explorers must wear in order to stop them getting frost bite or hypothermia during expeditions. The girls enjoyed trying on the pieces from Joe’s huge rucksack. Apparently they felt like Darth Vader with the face protection on, it was difficult to speak and breathe!