While up at Summit camp, we were fortunate to overlap with students from the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP). The program provides high school students from Denmark, Greenland and the United States with the opportunity to travel to Summit Station and learn about the scientific research that occurs there. The ladies of Cohort 4 were eager to share our polar knowledge with the JSEP students, so we set up four different activities that revolved around snow and ice.
The first activity took the students out around camp to investigate snow albedo. We searched for snow that somehow looked different. For example, these differences could be due to compaction from heavy equipment, exhaust from LC-130 planes, or frost flower growth on the surface. We made measurements of albedo and used hand lenses to take a closer look at the snow grains and see how they differed from place to place.
One afternoon took us down to the beautiful backlit snow pit, where we discussed snow layering from different storm events and different seasons. We analyzed the snow stratigraphy, made density measurements and talked about implications for ice core studies, like the research done on GISP2 right at Summit!
Kristin led a hands-on exercise to teach the JSEP participants about glacial flow. The students made their own flubber from glue, water and borax, and they ran experiments to determine how their flubber “glaciers” would flow under various “bedrock” conditions. A wee bit messy, but worth the clean up!
Our last afternoon at Summit fell on a beautiful, warm, sunny-sky day. The JSEP students broke into teams and set out on a scavenger hunt! Using GPS coordinates or clues about things around camp, the students were led place to place until they reached a final clue that could only be solved with input from all three groups. At last, they found the long sought-after buried treasure of Summit Camp!
When we weren’t sharing our love of science, the IGERT and JSEP teams enjoyed other activities around camp, such as singing songs together in the Big House or playing board games in the Recport. It was a fantastic opportunity for the IGERT students to share our science, to learn about science education in other countries, and to have a great time while doing it!
Learn more about the JSEP program at their website: http://www.polartrec.com/expeditions/joint-science-education-project-2013