High school students’ experiences on a polar science summer camp in Greenland

Theme 4. Education
Session Name 4.5 Formal and informal education in Arctic studies and science outreach in the Arctic
Datetime Sep 05, 2018 03:45 PM - 04:00 PM (UTC)
Location IT135
Presentation Type Oral
Presenter Lars Demant-Poort
Author(s) Lars Demant-Poort (University of Greenland, Greenland)
Abstract text

Abstract


In the past ten years the Joint Science Education Project [JSEP] in west Greenland has provided a frame for polar science education for high school students from Greenland, Denmark and the US. In a three week period each summer, students work on polar science projects through inquiry based field work in the area around Kangerlussuaq. Examples of students’ projects range from studying spider diet, warming effects on the edge of the ice sheet to effect of caribou in local diets.


The purpose of the project is to examine how a science summer camp might influence the high school students’ future career choice and overall understanding of [polar] science.


In July 2018 20 high school students; 5 from Denmark, 5 from the US and 10 from Greenland will be interviewed at the beginning and end of the summer camp, and science and social activities will be observed. This will be compared with an analysis of previous years’ student evaluation of the summer camp.


Preliminary results from 2017 point out two results: High school students improve their understanding of scientific inquiry, and students from Greenland seem to experience the steepest learning curve in scientific methodology. This finding will be further investigated in the 2018 summer camp.


JSEP seems to have significant relevance for high school students’ understanding of polar science and its significance to global challenges. Furthermore, the three countries constellation of the program seems to provide a unique platform for braking down cultural barriers.

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