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Current Time and Temperature at Palmer Station
Current time and temperature at Palmer Station


Headline: Learning Activities

Head: Meet the Scientists

Teacher Page

Be a journalist! Write about the scientists on the "POP Antarctica" team!

The team of scientists going to Antarctica is made up of five interesting individuals. In August 2001 they agreed to be interviewed individually. They were each asked the same questions about their jobs, their interests, and the nature of science itself. Their answers dispel the commonly-held view that scientists stay in laboratories without contact with the outside world.

This activity is suited to individual learners and to groups of learners. To begin the activity, have learners answer the first three questions that were asked of the scientific team:

  1. Why would a person become a scientist?
  2. What is science?
  3. What skills and abilities are necessary in order to be a scientist?

Learners then can compare their answers with those of the team members. Discuss the following questions:

What is the picture we think of when we think about scientists? How are scientists portrayed in the media? Where are the learners’ answers similar to those of the scientists? Where are they different?

You may want to suggest a jigsaw activity, in which a learner is expected to read about one individual scientist and summarize his/her views. Those learners can then compare their findings with other learners who have read the same interview. Finally, learners can re-group into groups of five, where each learner will be responsible for presenting a summary of the interview he or she read about one scientist. Groups can share their information, using the "Interview Summary Notes" chart. Groups can then draw conclusions about science and scientists, based upon the interviews. Once again, these can be contrasted to the initial answers given by learners to the same questions.

This activity illustrates ways in which scientific content can be integrated with writing skills and skills of analysis and evaluation. This exemplifies the kinds of activities suggested by preparation for the GED 2002.


Team biographies

Interview Summary Note Charts (2 pages)