"Land of Ice" in the Kidzeum



Welcome to the darkest, driest, coldest, and windiest place on Earth! This climate doesn’t just exist in Antarctica; the children at Grenada Elementary School are experiencing the "Land of Ice" in the Kidzeum! On their first visit, students learned the location and climate of this cold destination. Then the travelers used maps and globes and crawled inside the Star Lab, which is a small planetarium, where they discovered that Antarctica has six months of darkness in the winter and six months of light in the summer. The students also learned how we have daylight and darkness on our continent, while children on the other side of our world are sleeping soundly.

For the second visit to the exhibit, "Exploring Antarctica", the students will learn about one type of penguin that lives around the most southern land on the globe. There are actually seventeen different species of this bird that live below the equator on our Earth, and several species that live just around Antarctica. The children will discover how the largest type of penguin, the Emperor penguin, lives in rookeries and takes care of its babies. During this visit, students will participate in several "hands-on" activities that will help them discover how these penguins keep warm to survive this land's harsh, winter temperatures. When the Katabatic winds blow across the ice, temperatures can reach a balmy one hundred and twenty degrees below zero! The children will huddle in a large group and transfer a "penguin egg" to a partner to simulate how the Emperor parents protect their baby before it is even born. Each child will be able to use a magnifying glass to discover just how the unique penguin feathers overlap on their body to give them the insulation needed in icy waters. Did you know that penguins have up to 70 feathers per square inch of body surface area? In the "Blubber Glove" experiment, students will learn how well penguins are insulated by the fat or blubber on their body. The children will "test the waters" to see just how a penguin’s waterproof feathers give them nearly 80% of their insulation.

The Kidzeum's spring exhibit will focus on the science of bubbles! March will be here before we know it, and students at GES will learn just how such simple, fun-loving bubbles can actually be called a science! If you haven't had a chance to visit the Kidzeum with your child, now would be a super time to drop by and experience the joy of learning! Beth Muselwhite, Kidzeum Director, invites you to find out when your child will visit the Kidzeum with his/her class next. We look forward to seeing you!

***Thanks to Beth Muselwhite, Kidzeum Director for contributing this article.
Photo of Stephanie RaperStephanie Raper
In the Loop Editor