Well today we visited the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery for another home ed Activity. The weather was rather gloomy and cold with a small sprinkling of rain, so our visit to the museum was a welcomed opportunity to get out of home. The outing had been planned for a few weeks and in anticipation the children and I had been borrowing books from the state library and reading up about Antarctica. We had also done some research online and found some great information. During our research JAHG was interested in the krill and wildlife, while NIK was mainly only interested in learning all about and seeing images of the penguins.
We set out today during the home ed activity, exploring the Antarctica exhibition in the museum. There are so many wonderful things on display and information around to read. The children where then given one of four activities to do within smaller groups. Our activity involved envisaging ourselves as being part of an expedition team in the year 2009. Our expeditions official title was the ‘Ice Coring Expedition of 2009′. We were to travel 120 kilometres from the permanent base at Casey to Law Dome in order to carry out the ice coring with specific trucks designed with special ice coring attachments. The work was to be long and hard and we needed to be well equipped.
The idea was that we had to establish what challenges may lie ahead for us as well as establish and assemble the work implements, food, transport and shelter requirements needed by the participants in the ‘Ice coring expedition’. The answers may seem simple, but proved on occasion to be less obvious.
We established that the challenges we would face included the cold weather, being able to core through the ice and making sure we had enough supplies and food for the whole length of the expedition. As we had 120 kilometres between us and the permanent base at Casey we had to make sure we had enough supplies and food with us. As it was a long and difficult trip back to Casey base if we had under estimated anything at all and needed more supplies or food.
Initially we were very saddened by the prospect of eating food that was mostly freeze dried or just dried vegetables for days if not weeks on end as our ‘ice coring expedition’ was not going to be a quick one. We were more likely to be two weeks away from the main base doing our work. This kind of put a downer on the whole expedition until we realised that chocolate was also a major food source, this information brought back a glow to our faces and we knew we could make it through.
Our group established that we would be transported along with our food and supplies via a boat to Antarctica. Our first stop would be the permanent base at Casey. Then we would be transported either by helicopter or large trucks specially designed to work in the Antarctic conditions from Casey to Law Dome, where we would pitch a tent and sleep in it for the duration of our expedition, while our ice coring got underway and was completed.
As the weather in Antarctica would be extreme, we realised we would need big gloves, massive boots and jackets just to keep warm as well as strangely designed head wear and BIG goggles to protect our eyes! The clothes would be heavy and brightly coloured, yet warm and inviting! Even if they did have a funny smell to them!
We had a lot of fun pretending we were to be a part of the ‘2009 Ice coring expedition and dressing up in the appropriate 2009 Antarctic clothing.
Our guide for the ‘Apples in Antarctica’ educational activity was named Richard . He was very relaxed and did a great job of sharing information with us and pointing out interesting facts and information for us. He helped make the whole activity fun and gave us a wonderful arm full of posters, leaflets, postcards and stickers to keep at the end of the activity. This has encouraged us to come home and further research Antarctica and do other activities linked to the theme, so watch out for some more of our work on Antarctica!
A great time was had by all!