Shakira Brown, right, a science teacher at New York's Harlem Children's Zone Promise Academy, and Howard Koss, a graduate student at Queens College, CUNY, on a C-17 flight from New Zealand to McMurdo Station in Antarctica. The project is researching climate conditions over millions of years and communicating with schools across the country so students can follow their progress.
Click on image for full size
Image Courtesy of Stephen Pekar, Queens College, CUNY.
Unlocking Climate Mysteries and Engaging Students from Harlem to Antarctica
News story originally written on November 24, 2008
Shakira Brown, a middle school teacher from New York City, has gone to extremes to get her students interested in science. She is in Antarctica as a member of a scientific expedition that is trying to learn what conditions were like there millions of years ago. The project will help us understand what could happen to the Earth as the climate changes.
Scientists know that higher levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) can change our climate, and many experts think that this climate change may dramatically affect our lives. After staying almost the same for millions of years, the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere has climbed quickly in the last 100 years and scientists think it will climb even higher.
The last time CO2 levels were this high was between 25 and 40 million years ago. The research team hopes to collect data about the Earth's conditions during that period so they can better understand what happened the last time CO2 levels were so high. To do this, they will study the sediments deposited off the coast of Antarctica.
Brown hopes that in addition to reaching the project's scientific goals, this expedition will show students the possibilities science has to offer.
Visit the project's Web site to learn more about this expedition and track the team's progress.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
, full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science, ranging from seismology
, rocks and minerals
, and Earth system science
You might also be interested in:
Antarctica is the coldest, windiest, and driest continent on Earth. It is about one and a half times the size of the United States. Almost all of Antarctica is covered with a thick layer of ice called...more
Earth’s climate is getting warmer. During the past 100 years Earth’s average temperature rose about 0.6° Celsius (1.0° F). Things that people are doing like burning fossil fuels, changing the way land...more
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a kind of gas. There isn't that much carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere, but it is still very important. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. That means it helps trap heat coming...more
How do you know to pack your bathing suit and sunhat for a trip to a tropical island or pack warm sweaters and coats for a trip to Alaska? If you know a little about regional climates, then you know what...more
Have you ever taken your temperature to see if you are getting sick? Scientists have been taking the Earth's temperature and have found that it is getting warmer. During the past 100 years, the Earth's...more
Scientists have learned that Mount Hood, Oregon's tallest mountain, has erupted in the past due to the mixing of two different types of magma. Adam Kent, a geologist at Oregon State University, says this...more
The Earth's mantle is a rocky, solid shell that is between the Earth's crust and the outer core. The mantle is made up of many different reservoirs that have different chemical compositions. Scientists...more