Students from Burnley-Moran Elementary School in Charlottesville, Va., took their first school field trip to the South Pole by way of live broadcast last week.
The hourlong teleconference took place Jan. 10 at the University of Virgina's school of education, where 23 students were linked by satellite with their teacher, April Lloyd. The broadcast is one of four electronic field trips in a "Live from Antarctica" series supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Ms. Lloyd, a University of Virginia graduate, left for Antarctica last month to team up with scientists for the interactive field trip. She became involved in the trip through a program sponsored by the university that encourages teachers to design student-centered experiments and use electronic communication for classroom learning.
The students have stayed in touch with their teacher through the Internet computer network and electronic mail. The teachers, scientists, and students involved in the project have worked together on experiments on such topics as how cold affects objects and how electromagnetic radiation affects the atmosphere.
What began as a challenge to get his students to read has turned Tom Dixey into quite a popular guy.
Mr. Dixey, the assistant principal at Argo Community High School in Summit, Ill., promised to eat a bug if his students read a total of 4,000 works of literature.
About 500 of the school's 1,500 students helped meet the goal, so Mr. Dixey made a meal of a mealworm--not once but twice. He downed a worm on the "CBS Morning News" on Jan. 6 and then again for his students during an assembly.
Since then, he has gotten calls from radio stations and newspapers from across the nation. He even did an interview with the BBC. Although Mr. Dixey admits the attention has been overwhelming, he doesn't want the students to forget the reason for it--to improve reading skills and to try to renew interest in reading.
"The students did something over and beyond what they had to do for a grade," Mr. Dixey said. "It's been wonderful for the school with the publicity for something that was nonathletic. This brought the whole school together to accomplish something."
--Adrienne D. Coles