Antarctic display teaches climate science

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Clutha district schoolchildren attending the Far from Frozen science seminar last week at the Cross Recreation Centre.

Six schools took part and their pupils interacted with one of the main components of the Otago Museum’s “healthy people – healthy planet” portable educational series targeting the role the Antarctic plays in global climate systems.

Climate change awareness was the main message imparted to the children as they participated in chemistry experiments, tackled the visual illusions of virtual reality headsets which transported them to the Antarctic and interacted with augmented reality weather and sand computer models.

They later watched as a 3-D mapping system demonstrated how rising sea levels caused by climate change would affect them in their lifetimes.

The participants also got to try out the many layers of cold-weather clothing scientists staying out on the ice in the Antarctic have to wear just to survive the extremely cold temperatures prevalent there.