Learning On Ice

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Students interpolating data.

Day number four in the classroom saw students continue to develop skills in filling in data gaps and pattern recognition. We started the day with a walk to school, it was much warmer today, -10F but the wind was picking up and the snow was starting to blow, so wind chill was much more like -30F. But the great thing about wind chill is it is easier to defeat with the right gear, specifically a good shell layer. Yes, I am feeling some nice love for my gear right now!

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Meridith and John.

We had a nice 2.5 hour break in our schedule at the school and hearing how vital the sea ice is to the local community and that they were already venturing out onto the ice we decided to go, very carefully, for a very short walk on some of the ice closest to shore. Note this was on our own time. It was one of the most surreal experiences I have ever had.

It was hard to judge distances but the ice was broken about 1km out exposing the ocean. Where the warm water was open to the air it was steaming and creating a fog. Due to the North East winds it was being blown along the coast not onto it. The ice was full of structure, ridges, cracks and mounds. It was VERY solid! Following our little trip we walked back to the School for afternoon classes.

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Cracking up!

We had the first class that completed the color map of temperatures and were putting terms to the activities they carried out: Aggregation, Abstraction and Pattern Recognition.I was impressed to see how many students saw that the data was showing the progression of a cold change. The students showed an ability to abstract the patterns they were seeing. Basically, students are already being introduced to the concept of frames of reference! We finished the day with dinner at a Japanese restaurant. Another homely affair. It seems like many houses have business attached, even a little coffee that seems to do a brisk business all day long in the middle of winter.  Like the crazy tourists we are we walked in the blowing snow and wind enjoying the surreal landscape of Utqiagvik!

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The surreal world of the ice

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