NIU workshop invites school teachers to learn more about climate change science, Antarctica

A photo of penguins interacting with curious visitors in Antarctica.Northern Illinois University will host a workshop for teachers who are seeking to learn more about climate science and Antarctica and to find related resources for their classrooms.

The workshop, titled Antarctica’s Climate Secrets, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 24, in Room 116 of Davis Hall on the NIU campus.

The workshop fee of $25 includes lunch and lesson plans and activities for educators teaching students in fifth grade through high school. Teachers attending also can earn six CPDUs.

Registration information is online.

The featured presenters will be Ross Powell, an NIU Board of Trustees Professor of geology and world-renowned polar researcher who is expert on climate change, and Louise Huffman, who taught for 34 years in Naperville schools and has special expertise in teaching young students about climate science.

Powell has been conducting research in Antarctica for 38 years and serves as a co-chief scientist of the ANDRILL (ANtarctic geological DRILLing) research program. Huffman traveled to the Antarctic in 2002 and 2007 and serves as an ANDRILL education and outreach coordinator.

Ross Powell

Ross Powell

Few efforts to improve our understanding of climate change have been more ambitious or larger in scale than ANDRILL – a $30 million international project involving some 150 scientists and sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation. ANDRILL was in part operated from NIU through Powell.

He and other NIU scientists and students worked to recover and decipher geologic records buried deep within the Antarctic sea bed. These records, in the form of rock core samples, provide scientists with a wealth of information about the continent’s climate history. Ultimately, that information has led to a better understanding of contemporary climate change.

Powell also is working on a new project in Antarctica, where he and other scientists plan to use a 28-foot-long, 2,200-pound robotic submarine to explore melting near the base of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

The teacher workshop is sponsored by NIU STEM Outreach, the NIU Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences and the NIU Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy, as well as by ANDRILL.

For more information, call (815) 753-1201 or email psievert@niu.edu.

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