Polar Science E&O in debate
The Workshop Education Meets Science: Bringing Polar Research into the Classroom held in Hannover 1-4 April 2015 brought together about 50 participants from 14 countries around the world. A huge thank you goes to our sponsors: Students on Ice, the Alfred Wegener Institute and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Polarforschung (DGP) without whose help this workshop would have been impossible.
Three days of intense work aimed to gather information and recent results on the scientific research conducted in the Polar Regions; discuss the role of education about polar science and the future of "Polar Educators International", the organization that emerged after the Montreal International Conference of the International Polar Year (2012) and the workshop at the University of Coimbra (2013) and has occupied an important niche; and to discuss what the best methodologies are for assessing the impact of international polar outreach activities.
In addition to communications on different scientific areas that conduct research in the Polar Regions, participants were presented educational projects from many countries and participated in "hands-on" activities that provide a vehicle for transferring the science topics to an educational context. The debate and the contribution of the participants in the different panels of discussion was very interesting and enriching, promoting a clearer view of the importance of polar education and a vision for future direction. Some of the discussion threads are listed at the end of this article and PEI members are welcome to add to the discussion in the Members Area.
Several additional activities were conducted during the workshop including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between PEI and the GAIA-Antarctic project fostering collaboration with University of Magallanes, Chile. Also, the 1st PEI Fun Run was held to raise awareness of polar education and to promote a healthier lifestyle within the community. On Saturday, a paleo-glacial field trip was organized for the participants to experience and understand the relationship between the historical glacier that covered the area and the current local landscape.