This is the first installment of a three-part series about teachers in Antarctica.
Education Week will journey to that continent along with teachers in the National Science Foundation’s Teachers Experiencing Antarctica and the Arctic program, which sends teachers to the polar regions to participate in cutting- edge scientific research.
Assistant Editor David J. Hoff and Photo Editor Allison Shelley (see “Behind the Scenes”) were selected by the NSF to be “media visitors” for approximately two weeks in January.
Every year, the independent federal agency runs a competitive program to select several members of the news media to travel to Antarctica to write about NSF-financed research. Education Week, the Los Angeles Times, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, National Geographic, and National Public Radio were chosen to send journalists to Antarctica during this latest round of competition. The agency provides the journalists with transportation, outdoor clothing, food, and shelter while on the continent.
Early next month, Mr. Hoff and Ms. Shelley are scheduled to arrive at McMurdo Station, the largest research facility in Antarctica and the entry point for all visitors to the continent.
If the itinerary goes according to plan—which is subject to the unpredictable Antarctic weather—they will catch Richard M. Jones, a high school physics teacher from Billings, Mont., at the end of his stint and arrive a day or two ahead of Kevin A. Lavigne, a high school chemistry and biology teacher from Hanover, N.H.
During its stay, the Education Week team plans to file updates on the teachers’ experiences in Web-exclusive stories and photographs, and prepare an extended On Assignment feature story slated to run in later this winter.
For the final installment, set for spring publication, Education Week will follow up with the educators to describe how their participation in the NSF program has influenced their work in the classroom.
A version of this article appeared in the December 13, 2000 edition of Education Week as About This Series