Pilot program to let U.S. high-school students experience Antarctic science at a Chilean station
Three high-school students and PEI member Juan Botella from Wisconsin will participate in a
joint pilot program of the U.S. and Chilean Antarctic programs that will send
them to a Chilean research station this February for hands-on experience with
Antarctic environments and ecosystems research.
The U.S. students and teacher, from the Monona Grove, Wisc., school district,
will join their Chilean peers–winners of Chile’s Antarctic School Fair–in the
first Joint Antarctic School Expedition (JASE). The joint program is designed to
strengthen the collaborative relationship between national Antarctic programs in
the United States and the Republic of Chile.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Arctic Research Consortium of the
United States (ARCUS) jointly selected the students from a pool of competitive
applicants. They also selected a polar-experienced teacher to take part in the
Antarctic School Expedition (Expedición Antártica Escolar 2014) to King George
The U.S. JASE student participants are:
• Anna Caldwell-Overdier, grade 11;
• Claire Hacker, grade 12; and
• Luke Maillefer, grade 11.
Monona Grove High School science teacher Juan Botella will accompany the
students. This will be Botella’s second Antarctic expedition, as he is also an
alumnus of the NSF-sponsored Polar Teachers and Researchers Exploring and
Collaborating program administered by ARCUS.
Botella speaks fluent English and Spanish and his skills will be indispensable
in the planned bilingual JASE outreach efforts. Lynn Foshee Reed, a mathematics
teacher at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School in Richmond, Va., and the NSF
Division of Polar Programs’ current Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator
Fellow, will round out the U.S. contingent.
The Chilean National Antarctic Institute will host the U.S. and Chilean students
and teachers, who will spend about a week at Profesor Julio Escudero Station
learning about Antarctic scientific research and exchanging cultural
The joint program will offer the U.S. and Chilean students the opportunity to
work with Antarctic scientists and learn about subjects ranging from glaciology
to ecology. The students also will give presentations about their own research,
practice their language skills and visit research stations run by other
countries on King George Island.
The U.S. participants will share their Antarctic expedition experiences as well
as their research with their classmates in Wisconsin and other schoolchildren
nationwide. Plans are also being made for the group to speak with U.S. Embassy
staff and students at an international school in Santiago, Chile as they make
their way home to the USA.
This is the 10th anniversary of the Chilean National Antarctic Institute’s
Antarctic School Fair and Expedition. The contest and expedition promote
awareness and appreciation of Antarctica and scientific research in young people
The JASE program follows on the success of NSF’s Joint Science Education Project
(JSEP) held in Greenland during the boreal summer. Each year, JSEP brings
together high school students and teachers from Denmark, Greenland and the
United States for a three-week, science-education and cultural-exchange program.
NSF’s Division of Polar Programs manages the U.S. Antarctic Program, through
which it coordinates all U.S. research on the southernmost continent and aboard
ships in the Southern Ocean as well as the logistics needed to support this
Follow the Expedition through the PolarTREC website!
NSF News- http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=130090
Chilean National Antarctic Institute – Feria Antartica Escolar:http://www.inach.cl/fae/
The Joint Antarctic School Expedition 2014 site–in English and Spanish. It includes students’ on-line journals: http://www.polartrec.com/expeditions/joint-antarctic-school-expedition-2014