Polar Science Weekend
Pacific Science Center
February 28-March 3, 2013
Build an igloo, snuggle into hooded cold-weather parkas, peek into tents used in polar research camps, take the salinity taste test and join a spectacular smashing ice demonstration as you meet and talk to polar researchers.
It's all part of Polar Science Weekend, returning to Pacific Science Center for the eighth straight year on February 28-March 3, 2013. Presented in partnership with the University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory, students, families and guests of all ages will enjoy four action-packed days of hands-on activities, demonstrations, exhibits and more - all transporting you into the extreme environments of the Arctic and Antarctic. You will also meet polar scientists who work in some of the most remote and challenging places on earth.
Some of the world's foremost polar scientists will be on hand for this event, including Dr. Mike Steele of the UW. In the short video below he talks about some of the challenges of arctic research.
Polar Science Weekend is included with price of general admission - FREE for Pacific Science Center members.
Polar Science Weekend is supported by a generous grant from NASA.
Here's what we have planned:
DEMONSTRATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
- Extreme Cold - THURS & FRI: 11:30 a.m. SAT & SUN: 1 p.m.
- Where is the Arctic Ocean? Who lives there? What is it like? Dr. Mike Steele will explore this and more with the help of liquid nitrogen.
- All About Adèlie Penguins - FRI: 1:30 p.m.
- Explore Greenland's ice sheet and Antarctica's Adèlie penguins through the lens of Chris Linder's polar expedition photography. Book signing.
- Keep it Cool for Polar Bears! - SAT: 11 a.m.
- Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's science educator will talk about how polar bears are ideally suited to their Arctic home and how their Arctic habitat is changing. Enjoy a polar bear 'dress-up' demonstration, touch real polar bear fur and a skull model and find out what you can do to help polar animals.
- Expeditionary Art - SAT: 2:30 p.m.
- Learn the history of polar expeditionary art and how Maria Coryell-Martin continues this tradition today! Maria will also share tools for field sketching, and how to draw her favorite polar animals.
- Arctic Marine Mammals - SAT: 4 p.m. SUN: 2:30 p.m.
- Meet Kristin Laidre, a biologist who studies Arctic whales and polar bears. What is the narwhal's tusk for? Ask Kristin!
- Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure Boeing IMAX Theater
- Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure tells the dramatic tale of explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated 1914-1916 expedition to Antarctica, which has become a testament to heroism and human endurance.
- To the Arctic 3D - PACCAR IMAX Theater
- To the Arctic 3D takes audiences on a never-before-experienced journey into the lives of a mother polar bear and her twin seven-month-old cubs as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home.
- Sky Tonight - Focus on the Poles - THURS & FRI: 3:30 p.m. SAT & SUN: 12 p.m. & 4:30 p.m.
- Visit tonight's sky in Seattle, at the North Pole and the South Pole.
- Exploring Our Polar Regions through Science On a Sphere - THURS & FRI: 12:15 p.m. SAT & SUN: 12:15 & 3:15 p.m.
- Introduction to the Arctic and Antarctic on a six-foot diameter sphere--sea ice, ice sheets, temperature, and more.
- Investigating Arctic Ice Melt
- Meet the featured scientists and discover what they are learning about climate change and the Arctic sea through images, videos, objects and hands-on activities.
- Build an Igloo - ALL DAYS
- Grab your friends and build your own igloo
- Make an Origami Penguin - ALL DAYS
- Fold your favorite Antarctic animal.
POLAR SCIENCE PASSPORT STATIONS
- ARCTIC ICE CAMP - ALL DAYS
- Visit the hut, check out the equipment, and try on the clothing!
- SLED PULL - ALL DAYS
- Put on the harness and pull the sled, just like polar explorers used to do!
- ARCTIC SEALS AND DISAPPEARING ICE - ALL DAYS
- Assemble a map puzzle and add your favorite Arctic animals. Solve the mystery of why ice is disappearing and offer solutions that you can implement.
- THE INFLUENCE OF POLAR SEAS ON THE GLOBAL OCEAN - THURS & SAT
- Challenge your understanding of the deep oceans by exploring how temperature and salt influence ocean circulation.
- MICROBES RULE! - THURS ONLY
- Nitrogen is an important part of our planet, especially in the ocean. Explore the nitrogen cycle in the Bering Sea.
- POINT DEFIANCE ZOO & AQUARIUM - FRI & SAT
- Learn how polar bears are impacted by global warming and what you can do to help protect these incredible animals. Check out a polar bear skull and pelt.
- SNOWBALL MATH - THURS ONLY
- Find numbers and symbols among the snowballs to make a true equation!
- SOUNDS OF THE ARCTIC - FRI, SAT & SUN
- Listen to the sounds of whales and seals in the Arctic.
- STINK, SLIMY FISH STOMACHS - FRI ONLY
- Look inside a fish stomach!
- U.S. COAST GUARD - ALL DAYS
- Learn about life on an icebreaker. Try on a survival suit!
- WHERE IS THE POLAR FRONT? - SUN ONLY
- Use a research ship or satellites to map the water temperature of the Southern Ocean.
- BELOW FREEZING: LOOKING FOR MICROBES IN THE COLDEST PLACES - SAT & SUN
- Learn about astrobiology and what it has to do with ice.
- DENSITY OF SEAWATER - THURS & FRI
- Experiment with water balloons and find out what density means.
- DUST ON ANTARCTICA - SAT & SUN
- Try making your own dust pattern spray across Antarctica.
- EXPEDITIONARY ART - FRI, SAT & SUN
- See paintings of the Polar Regions and talk to the artist Maria Coryell-Martin, who went there and painted them.
- GLACIER FLOW - ALL DAYS
- Watch glaciers made out of silly putty ooze down a slope and find out what makes them so important in the world's climate.
- GREENLAND ICE CORE - ALL DAYS
- See a real core of ice from the Greenland ice sheet. Learn how scientists use ice cores to study Greenland and climate change.
- INFRARED LIGHT - TAKING THE TEMPERATURE OF EARTH, MARS AND THE MOON - FRI & SAT
- Use a thermal camera to explore the surface of Mars and the moon.
- LIVING WITH PENGUINS - OUR FASCINATION & OUR IMPACT - ALL DAYS
- Meet penguin researchers and learn how to census and measure penguins.
- MOVING SEA ICE - THURS, FRI & SAT
- Discover the connection between sea ice and climate.
- NARWHAL MYSTERIES - FRI, SAT & SUN
- Learn about narwhals - play an activity game and collect your own data to solve the mystery!
- OCEAN WATCHDOGS - ALL DAYS
- Learn how scientists retrieve a 13,000-foot-long string of scientific instruments anchored to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean.
- POLAR SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY - ALL DAYS
- Find out what a ULS and a CTD are. Check out a buoy that's deployed on the sea ice and watch how it drifts across the Arctic. Meet the underwater robot Seaglider.
- SALINITY TASTE TEST - ALL DAYS
- Can you taste the difference between the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans? Your tongue is an amazing salinometer. Come try it out.
- SEA ICE THICKNESS FROM SPACE - THURS, FRI & SAT
- See how a laser on a satellite high above the Earth measures the thickness of floating sea ice.
- SEA ICE VS. FRESHWATER ICE - ALL DAYS
- Feel the difference between salty ice and fresh ice. Watch what happens when colored dye is dropped on the ice.
- SEA ICE THICKNESS: MAKING SENSE OF THE CHAOS - ALL DAYS
- Some sea ice is very thin and some is very think. Find out why as you collect and measure your own samples.
- SEEING WITH SOUND - THURS & FRI
- Find out how NOAA creates new maps of the ocean floor and finds fish deep in the water.