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DECEMBER 12TH                                                  UPDATES-LFA-2

This is the second newsletter update of the Live from Antarctica project, a Passport to Knowledge Electronic Field Trip. In the Teacher's Guide we describe the project as having three components, or three T's:

++ Television ++ ++ Telecommunications ++ ++ Teachers ++

We use these three components to organize our online newsletters.

               ---====|   T E L E V I S I O N   |=====---

10, 9, 8....The countdown to the LIVE tv programs connecting students with the Antarctic is in its final stages, with only *** hours *** remaining. Technical tests show clear pictures and sound from the mountain-top high above the Dry Valleys, the scene with which we hope to open the first program.

So, knowing it CAN be done, we hope for good weather and working satellites for the first program:

December 13th at 2:00 PM (EST)

and the second program

December 15th at 2:00 PM (EST)

Live from Antarctica series will be carried on over 65% of the nations PBS stations (including Chicago and New York) broadcasting to homes and/or schools. Some people have reported their local PBS station is not carrying the programs "live." at the original times. Some PBS stations are taping the first two programs, and will air them in January them as introduction to the exciting and unique January 10th program, SPACESHIP SOUTH POLE. Check local listings, and call your local station to see if they are providing a closed-circuit feed to schools. (By the way, THE NEW EXPLORERS prime time program based on LIVE FROM ANTARCTICA is slated for June 1995.)

We are glad to announce that NASA-TV is carrying programs 1, 3 and 4 live. Program 2 coincides with a live Russian-American press conference about an upcoming joint mission, and so NASA-TV will run that program starting at 16:00 hours (4:00 PM EST) Thursday, December 15th, 1994. One excellent thing about NASA-TV is that it then "rotates" its programs in a block, rebroadcasting them at least 3 times in the original day. Another advantage is that many cable systems either do, or **can** carry NASA-TV. The coordinates for NASA-TV are: SPACENET 2, C-band, 69 degrees West longitude, transponder 5 (channel 9), frequency 3880.0 Mhz, Horizontal polarization, audio on 6.2 and 6.8. We hope this provides an alternate way of accessing the programs, live or on tape.


Working in Antarctic conditions challenges advance planning. One of our guest scientist, ANN GRUNOW who was to talk about the Texas-Antarctica land connection is not in the Antarctic for medical reasons. We are delighted to announce the participation of IAN DALZIEL instead.

Dalziel (pronounced D-L) has been studying the geology of Antarctica, the Andes and other mountains since earning his Ph.D. in his native Scotland at the University of Edinburgh. He is now a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute for Geophysics of the University of Texas, in Austin. In 1992 he received the Murchison Medal of the Geological Society of London. Whenever possible he likes to travel with his wife, Linda, son Kyle, daughter Kacie, and to scull on Town Lake. He wrote the cover story in the upcoming (Jan 1995) SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN on "Earth before Pangea" which describes his past research in Antarctica.

Responding to student questions about weather is someone who works with weather every day, Lt. Commander John Joseph, of the U.S. Navy.

Lt. Commander John Joseph is the Meteorology Division Officer, of the U.S. Naval Support Force, Antarctica. He has a B.A. in Chemistry and a Masters in Science Education. He was a high school science teacher for 6 years, teaching chemistry, math and physics. He entered the Navy in 1982, and among other assignments, was attached to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Guam, and was an oceanographer aboard the USS PELELIU. He has a 15-year old son, 5 sisters and one brother, "all married with children", he writes, with about a dozen great nieces and nephews. He loved teaching and hopes to return to it one day, and says it is a great experience to be in Antarctica, trying to understand and predict the most extreme weather he has ever seen, and supporting some very interesting science.

In addition, we will meet Diane Stoecker on tape, and see that while she studies algae at the ice-edge, Emperor penguins study her!

We are delighted to say that Diana Freckman remains on tap to be our Dry Valleys guest,(see the Teacher's Guide, p.17 for a short description of Diana) but weather and travel logistics will dictate whether Gerry, or Carsten or Tory Kooyman (Teacher's Guide, p. 17) makes it back to talk about seals or penguins at the sea-ice cracks near Scott Base. (Carsten is the subject of the first Challenge Question!---see telecommunications below for more on this---) There were also only a few seals there when Deane Rink, our field producer, last checked! However, we are hoping for a few more, and for good weather to let one of the Kooyman clan return from their remote field site. As promised, if they get "socked in" we'll have a substitute guest fully able to talk about the unique marine mammals of the Antarctic!


A late-breaking development is that while each program will have a solid break at 40:00 as promised (and some PBS stations have already planned local materials to "fill" up to the hour) MPT and GEOFF HAINES-STILES PRODUCTIONS, the producers, decided that since interaction with Antarctica is so unique, they would return to the live classrooms after the 40:00 break to allow more spontaneous student Q&A with the researchers at the various sites in Antarctica. This provides about 16:00 more minutes for truly long distance learning! We hope -- if you are able to receive this -- that you find this experiment of interest. If your local station does not carry this last segment, please do not blame them, since it was a late change in program plans.

In the final hours of pre-production we are trying to shape programs that are both informative and lively, and we look forward to hearing your responses either online, or via the Evaluation Forms which can be found in the printed Teacher's Guide.

         ---====|   T E L E C O M M U N I C A T I O N S   |=====---

We provide three levels of communication to Live from Antarctica: email, gopher and web access.

Through Internet Email:

updates-lfa: The reports about what is currently happening in Antarctica. Also, this weekly newsletter and other notices about this and future Passport to Knowledge projects

discuss-lfa: A General Forum for Teachers who are following the Live from Antarctica project through email. This group is invited to join theme oriented Learning Centers for classroom work.



-*- denotes that new information was added in the past week

Similar LIVE FROM ANTARCTICA online resources also available from

  PBS Learning Link
  SPACELINK (spacelink.msfc.nasa.gov/spacelink/hottopics/Live.from.Antarctica)
  Virginia Pen

The Web World of Live from Antarctica

The URL is http://passporttoknowledge.com/antarctica

Comes see the worldwide resources assembled for your Antarctic Adventure!!!

                   ---====|   T E A C H E R S  |=====---

We are continuing to develop the opportunities for Participation through email.


We have extended an invitation to all discuss-lfa teacher participants to become more involved in the LFA project by joining Learning Centers --small groups of classrooms investigating common themes associated with each of the four televised programs (geology, biolgoy, astronomy, Antarctica) that would like to share projects. These classrooms will introduce themselves, post their projects, and exchange ideas, fostering a collaborative effort involving a diverse group of classrooms.

Welcome to our TEAM!!

Some classrooms are joining in a unique opportunity to play a key role in the Question-Answer opportunity provided by Live From Antarctica. Students and their teacher will become Co-Investigator Classrooms by serving as "research assistants" or "co-investigators" for one or more of the Antarctican researchers and other subject matter experts. These classrooms will be sent questions that are related to a topic, read and organize them (sorting them by type), researching partial answers, and submitting them to the researchers. This service will help our researchers from being overwhelmed by the large numbers of questions and the tasks of organizing them.

So we hope you are all planning to join us in some way as we take you to the Ice of Antarctica.

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