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Press Release: TIME For Kids Antarctica webcast connects teachers and students with scientists

TIME For Kids presents “LIVE from Antarctica” webcast via edWeb.net to connect teachers and students with scientists in Antarctica

PRINCETON, NJ, January 27, 2014 – TIME For Kids (TFK) presented a webcast on January 23rd for teachers and students to connect with scientists working in Antarctica. Teachers from more than 1,500 schools participated in this unique event that connected students with scientists from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to answer students’ questions about Antarctica and the experience of working in this remote region of the earth.

The program was hosted by edWeb.net, the online learning network, and presented by TIME For Kids editors Suzanne Zimbler and Jaime Joyce. Visiting TFK science writer, David Bjerklie, hosted the conversation in Antarctica with NSF’s Peter West and scientist Jean Pennycook, who shared stories about their life and work in a live feed from the Ross Island Station in Antarctica. “Everything we learn leads to a new question,” said West, a program manager at NSF’s division of Global Programs. “For a scientist working in Antarctica,” added NSF science educator Jean Pennycook, “it is a grand adventure. No day is typical.”

West told teachers and students about the unique role of Antarctica for scientists around the world. “It is the only continent set aside for peaceful purposes … for science. No one owns it.” He told the students that Antarctica is 98% ice and that he wears warm “bunny boots” to do his work in the extreme cold. Pennycook, a penguin researcher, lives in a tent for three months a year to observe the penguins laying eggs.

The scientists answered questions tweeted from teachers and students, allowing kids to interact in real time with working scientists. TFK editors and program hosts Zimbler and Joyce signed off from New York, encouraging students to “think about growing up to be a scientist!” Joyce says, “We’re so pleased that TFK is helping to showcase the important work being done by the NSF in Antarctica while giving students an opportunity to hear from people in the field.”

The webcast was broadcast by edWeb.net and used Twitter as a back channel so teachers and their students could post questions and connect with each other as they connected with the scientists in Antarctica. The webinar had participation from teachers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, and reached an international audience including teachers from Australia, Canada, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, El Salvador, Colombia, India, and Pakistan.

One kindergarten teacher wrote, “Thank you for the opportunity! It was amazing! We enjoyed the experience. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that my students shared an experience with scientists working in Antarctica in real time! Amazing! Thank you!”

Lisa Schmucki, founder and CEO of edWeb.net, commented, “Online networks and social media now make it possible to connect students to scientists in the field and inspire them with their personal experiences. This is exactly the kind of experience and interaction that is the goal of the Common Core and 21st Century Literacy standards.”

View the TFK Antarctica Webcast
The Twitter hashtag used for the webcast back channel was #edwebchat

TIME For Kids hosts a community on edWeb that presents a series of webinars on “Real World Literacy and the Common Core.” Educators can join the community at www.edweb.net/TFK.

Visit the TIME For Kids Antarctica Mini-Site.

For more information, contact:

Paula Backer, Consumer Marketing Director, TIME For Kids
212-522-1356 | paula_backer@timeinc.com

Lisa Schmucki | Founder and CEO, edWeb.net
908-407-2755 | lisa@edweb.net

About TIME For Kids
TIME For Kids (TFK) is a weekly classroom news magazine that motivates kids to read. Issues cover a wide range of real-world topics kids love to learn about – and it’s the best nonfiction text you’ll find. A powerful teaching tool, TIME For Kids builds reading and writing skills and is easily integrated across your curriculum, including social studies, science and math. For more information or to subscribe, please visit timeforkids.com.

About edWeb.net
edWeb.net is a professional social and learning network for the education community that makes it easy to connect and collaborate with colleagues, share information and best practices, and create professional learning communities. edWeb hosts free professional learning communities on key topics in education and won the 2012 Edublog Award for Best Free and Open Professional Development for Educators. edWeb reaches 3.5 million educators in the U.S. through our membership and our partnership with MCH Strategic Data. Learn more at www.edweb.net. Follow @edwebnet on Twitter.

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