Linking to Classrooms and Students Around the World

11/6/2013 7:07:22 PM

Linking to Classrooms and Students Around the World

Temperatures are dropping down to -10 C, snow is on the ground, and polar bears are waking up in Hudson Bay. That means it's also peak time to see polar bears in the wild, and the town of Churchill, Manitoba is alive with visitors. It's also time for visiting scientists to gather on the tundra as guests and partners of Polar Bears International to share new information, discuss collaborations, and participate in outreach and education opportunities. Of course, despite having worked with polar bears now for 16 years, I also love watching them in the wild.

This is my sixth consecutive year in Churchill working for WWF and with PBI. I come up to Churchill to meet with partners, members, and scientific colleagues. It's a perfect place to share information about polar bear research and discuss management and policy activities. Churchill is also a great venue to participate in outreach and education to folks around the world through media and web based platforms. Beyond watching bears, outreach is my favorite thing to do in Churchill and participating PBI's Tundra Connections provides a great opportunity.

Along with sitting on panels with diverse colleagues and sharing information and stories amongst ourselves, Tundra Connections links us directly to classrooms across North America and in places around the world. This year the bar has been raised even higher as Discovery Education is partnering with TC and brings their extensive experience and network of 1.1 million educators globally representing an even larger number of students.

Today we connected with 500 classrooms as we discussed the similarities and differences between all three North American bear species: polar, brown, and black bears. The questions and interaction were excellent and we had the bonus of broadcasting our panel with bears literally napping next to our Tundra Buggy®. A fantastic start to the Discovery Education webcasts!

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