Passport to Knowledge
Electronic field trips to scientific frontiers
via interactive television and on-line networks
made possible, in part, by
the National Science Foundation, NASA,
and public television.
Remote...alien...distant...Terra Australis Incognita, the "unknown
southern land"...the "last place on Earth"....
For most of human history, and still for most people today, Antarctica
is a blank, a great white continent covered with ice, unconnected to daily
life back in the industrial world. Scientists know differently: the southern
oceans are the planet's air conditioner; the Antarctic ice is a litmus
paper sampling pollutants in Earth's atmosphere; the polar ozone hole
is an indicator of possible global climate change. We are all connected,
whether we know it or not, to Antarctica.
Now, for the first time, modern telecommunications allows us to jump the
physical barriers of storm-tossed seas and vast ice-sheets, and links
us directly to the men and women who know this astonishing place best.
LFA 2 will take students along, on board the Research Vessel Polar
Duke, across the Drake Passage-some of the roughest seas on Earth-to
Palmer Station on Anvers Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula. Palmer is
the jewel of NSF's U.S. Antarctic Program, populated even at the height
of the season by less than 50 researchers-joined this year by 6 intrepid
videographers and telecommunications specialists. Through their efforts,
students here in the States will be able to interact directly with scientists
on ship and on the tiny islands where Adelie penguins, seals and skuas
make their homes. This will be the first time Palmer has ever been connected
by video to the outside world, and NASA's Advanced Communications Technology
Satellite team are traveling with us to experiment with innovative telecommunications
devices operating under extreme conditions.
Our three live programs will combine pre-taped
sequences showing the daily life of the researchers, with "You Are
There" live interactions in which scientists let students look over
their shoulders, in real time, at the creatures and conditions they're
studying, and answer live and e-mail questions. It's ambitious, incredibly
exciting... and yes, we have contingency plans!
This Guide is your "passport" to sharing this unprecedented
experience with your students. It provides all an educator needs to know
to implement Live From Antarctica 2 successfully in a wide variety of
grades and subject areas. Most importantly, it provides Activities which
will allow your students to simulate, in class or at home, the research
they'll see on camera or on-line. The Guide and videos also point students
to the on-line resources which allow them to come to know the researchers
much more personally than would be possible through textbooks or any other
Perhaps one or more of the students who watch with you, log on to read
the latest Field Journal, or experiment with plants or phytoplankton,
will one day venture south in actuality, and contribute to a new generation
We're privileged to be working with NASA,
NSF and public
television to bring this incredible opportunity to you, and we also
thank you for your commitment to the future.
Last Update: 1/18/97
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