Live from Antarctica! It's an eighth-grade science class on global warming for a group of Harlem students whose teacher is doing research on the frozen continent.
Students at Promise Academy participated in a videoconference Tuesday with science teacher Shakira Petit, who was bundled in a hooded parka, boots and gloves for her talk on icebergs and rising sea levels.
"Would it be easy for a kid to live in Antarctica?" one student asked.
No, Petit said. "There are no children here. It's all scientists."
Petit is spending two months in Antarctica in a program sponsored by the New York-based nonprofit Global Nomads Group, which arranged the video hookup for the Harlem charter school that aims to prepare youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds for top colleges. Other schools on the hookup were in Newark, Del.; Davie, Fla.; Virginia Beach, Va.; and Douglass, Kan.
Stamping her feet for warmth in the minus 7-degree weather, Petit pointed out various features of Antarctica's McMurdo Station like supply buildings, trucks with big snow tires and a cross in memory of explorer Robert F. Scott.
Among the questions students asked: "What causes shapes and colors in an iceberg?" "How do you judge the age of the ice?" and "How thick is the ice you're standing on?"
Petit co-taught the class with Kirsty Tinto, a graduate student from New Zealand. The women are part of a group of researchers seeking to further scientific knowledge of global warming by studying sediments deposited in Antarctica some 34 million years ago when there were dramatic global climate changes.
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