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Scientist Brings Antarctica to Thetford - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Scientist Brings Antarctica to Thetford

Becky Ball Becky Ball

Thetford, Vermont - November 25, 2008

Regina Bradley shows her second-graders in Thetford the blog they will be following for their upcoming unit on the Polar Regions. On the other end is Becky Ball. She is doing her post-doctorate work at Dartmouth College. In December she will be traveling to the cold continent to the south to research the soil.

"We are talking more about what we see when we are out there, what we see, and basic polar science," Ball said.

Ball will send regular updates from Antarctica as well as pictures, maps, and links to related topics. The kids will track her progress.

"The soil, the penguins, the seals," second-grader Chris Sanso explained.

It's a project that combines real-life experience in today's technological world.

"I never use a computer for anything," Sanso said.

Abigail Berard said she is excited about studying Antarctica.

"Because there is lots to learn about Antarctica," she explained. "Like what other insects are down in the soil."

"What they eat or do they go shopping or do they hunt or something," student Owen Deffner said.

Bradley says the interactive adventure cannot be learned from a textbook.

"It really makes what they learns come alive. It makes it so much more real," Bradley said.

And Ball says the exposure has other benefits as well.

"We are funded by the National Science Foundation which is Americans' tax dollars so it is important for them to know what we are doing as well as provide this service back to the community," she said.

When Ball returns from Antarctica this spring, she plans to visit the school and give the students a full recap of their interactions with the scientist from the other side of the world.

Click here to follow Becky Ball's work in Antarctica.

Adam Sullivan - WCAX News

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