Antarctic Science and Fiction

May 7th, 2008 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:
Nancy Etchemendy’s Antarctic Journey

Age Range: 8-17 and up (Parents, as always, should preview this site to determine suitability of content for their own children.)

A big thanks to Heidi Wordhouse-Dykema who recommended this website where award-winning children’s horror, science fiction, and fantasy writer Nancy Etchemendy will document her trip to Antarctica (beginning May 26th) in interactive blogs, one for kids ages 8-12, the other for teens and up.

According to the press release at her website…

“In the darkness of Antarctic winter, a team of scientists on a lonely icebreaker will explore the mysterious icebergs of the Weddell Sea, with a twist. Children are invited.

Global warming in the Antarctic has recently caused ancient ice shelves to shatter into thousands of free-drifting icebergs that affect the air, the water, and possibly Earth’s climate in complex, unknown ways. As the National Science Foundation-funded researchers seek answers, writer Nancy Etchemendy will recount each day’s events via daily blog posts. Readers can ask questions and receive answers while the expedition is at sea, May 31 – June 30.”

The author was invited on this journey to write at least one K-12 book about the expedition. However, she thought it would be much more fascinating for kids to take a virtual trip and follow her journey through reading her blogs. She hopes that students will ask questions and get answers to find out how cool life as a scientist can be.

There are two blogs for different age groups that are already underway:

  1. “Unarctica” combines science fact and adventure fiction for children ages 8-12. This blog tells the story of the expedition from the point of view of the three middle-school protagonists of her novel, “The Power of Un.” The blog weaves each day’s factual and scientific events into an adventure story bound to hold the attention of even the most reluctant readers.
  2. “Rime of the Modern Mariner” uses Etchemendy’s gothic sensibilities to draw in teens and adults. Subtitled “A Horror Writer’s Journey to Darkest Antarctica,” this blog targets teens and adults in a more traditional blog format, with each day’s events and science activities mingled with Nancy’s observations as an award-winning horror writer and amateur naturalist.

Both blogs include photos and allow readers to ask questions using a “comments” feature. Classroom opportunities and science facts for teachers are accessible from at the website as well.

When you get to the site, just click on the blog title and a new page opens where you can follow the adventure! Be sure to bookmark the site, as you’ll want to check in daily to read the latest developments.

DID YOU MISPLACE A ClickSchooling Review? Do you need to find an educational website – fast! Visit the ClickSchooling archives.

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