Joint Antarctic School Expedition – An International Collaboration for High School Students and Teachers on Antarctic Science

Friday, 19 December 2014
Juan Botella1, Janet Warburton2, Sarah Bartholow2 and Lynn Foshee Reed3, (1)Monona Grove High School, Monona, WI, United States, (2)ARCUS, Fairbanks, AK, United States, (3)Maggie L. Walker Governor's School, Richmond, VA, United States
The Joint Antarctic School Expedition (JASE) is an international collaboration program between high school students and teachers from the United States and Chile aimed at providing the skills required for establishing the scientific international collaborations that our globalized world demands, and to develop a new approach for science education.

The National Antarctic Programs of Chile and the United States worked together on a pilot program that brought high school students and teachers from both countries to Punta Arenas, Chile, in February 2014. The goals of this project included strengthening the partnership between the two countries, and building relationships between future generations of scientists, while developing the students’ awareness of global scientific issues and expanding their knowledge and interest in Antarctica and polar science. A big component of the project involved the sharing by students of the acquired knowledge and experiences with the general public.

JASE is based on the successful Chilean Antarctic Science Fair developed by Chile´s Antarctic Research Institute. For 10 years, small groups of Chilean students, each mentored by a teacher, perform experimental or bibliographical Antarctic research. Winning teams are awarded an expedition to the Chilean research station on King George Island. In 2014, the Chileans invited US participation in this program in order to strengthen science ties for upcoming generations.

On King George Island, students have hands-on experiences conducting experiments and learning about field research. While the total number of students directly involved in the program is relatively small, the sharing of the experience by students with the general public is a novel approach to science education.

Research experiences for students, like JASE, are important as they influence new direction for students in science learning, science interest, and help increase science knowledge. We will share experiences with the planning of the pilot program as well as the expedition itself. We also share the results of the assessment report prepared by an independent party. Lastly, we will offer recommendations for initiating international science education collaborations.

United States participation was funded by the NSF Division of Polar Programs.