Skype helps students explore ‘Land of the Ice Bears’ — from a safe distance

 |   jwarnick

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A fascinating factoid in honor of International Polar Bear Day: Did you know it’s tradition in the Arctic to leave all doors unlocked in case someone is “caught unawares” by a polar bear and needs to escape into a building?

This from polar explorer Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop, who also carries a flare pistol in case a polar bear comes too close and he needs to fire warning shots. “Generally, you’re not allowed to go and try to find (polar bears) unless you are studying them — they are a big risk —  we have to be very careful.”

This month the explorer and educator and his team will do research in Svalbard, a place between Norway and the North Pole with deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, massive sheets of ice and magnificent polar bears. This is the fifth polar expedition for Buchanan-Dunlop, a former teacher who now uses Skype to connect with classrooms all over the world from the remote places he’s exploring. He’ll once again share his learnings from this expedition with students via his Skype in the Classroom ‘Arctic Live 2016!’ virtual field trip.

Visit the Skype Social Good Blog to read a Q&A with the explorer about his work and the importance of connecting with students.

Jennifer Warnick
Microsoft News Center