The Sun Has Come Back To The Class

The sun came up for the first time this year.

Wednesday saw our third day at the school. And it was the first time of year the sun came fully over the horizon (we had a long discussion on what “the sun coming up” meant). Again I walked to the School, for no other reason than to say I did. It was -27c but with a bit of a breeze blowing it was -34c windchill. Gear worked well but eyelashes iced up again.. Fun! Walter was kind enough to give us a failed radiosonde unit which The Teacher asked me to present to the class. I was a bit rough to begin with but after repeating it five times I got good at using it to get the students to think of the atmosphere in three dimensions.

It also allowed me to link the ARM site to them and their community and to underline the global importance of the work done there. I am hoping Argonne and ARM can build on the connections we are making in this community. Today’s lesson was about abstraction. The students had a series of numbers on a grid and were asked to see if they saw a pattern. Most could not which allowed the teacher to prompt “how can we make the patterns easier to see”. Each of the five classes arrived at the conclusion (with varying speed) that they needed to color code the numbers.

And with that 8th graders were being taught about scientific visualization! We also had the privilege of hearing more about Kevin’s time on the ice with the people of Utqiagvik.
Ice that piles up with an onshore wind (see a previous post) actually anchors this ice to shore. This is vital for the hunters in the town and also for wildlife. It was great seeing the sun come back! We even stepped outside at 1:30pm (just after sunrise) to use the light to get a group shot. School had early dismissal so we had a great hour at the  Iñupiat Heritage Center. It was great seeing how the four whaling families had passed down traditions. In fact a lot of the last names were very familiar including a previously mentioned site operator!

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