I delivered a polar bear this week. Albeit a relatively small one. Without much bite and with lots of soft fur to a Grade Four class at Bishop Abraham School in St. John’s. This group of explorers in training under the tutelage of Mrs. Courage, aptly named for her love of all subjects adventure, exploration, and Everest, asked for the polar bear. Turns out they are becoming quite fond of adopting polar animals and polar explorers. This class threw me a party when I returned from Mount Vinson and Antarctic, and they were once again eager to celebrate my Greenland expedition.
They listened to the audio updates each morning and send along some very good questions for Paul and I to address from the expedition. They loved hearing their school named and having their very own questions answered from Greenland. One of their favourite parts of the Go for Greenland curriculum was the “Did you Knows” about Greenland. I had decided to include those because that class had shared many “Did You Knows” about Antarctica with me during our first party together. I knew my outreach goal for the Greenland expedition had been met when the class teemed with more questions about my Greenland expedition and they paid rapt attention to the answers. The students showed me their art work on the classroom walls and I loved seeing their renditions of the white and blue world I had described to them.
At the end of our gathering most of the students hugged me good-bye and I left smiling from ear to ear toting two penguins, a rock, and an iceberg. Thanks again to all the teachers who had their students following along. It provided a new dimension to the expedition to be fielding questions from students in almost real time. Thanks as well again to Taylor Marsh for her excellent work on the school curriculum and expedition communications.