The Open University is a fantastic place to discover all kinds of valuable educational materials. From time to time I find myself getting lost in the content both on The Open University’s website and The Open University’s various YouTube channels. I was doing just that recently when I discovered Frozen Planet: Explore the Polar Regions.
Frozen Planet: Explore the Polar Regions features an interactive display through which you can view the history of polar exploration and the science of the polar regions. The interactive display is created through the use of the Google Earth browser plug-in and a timeline. You can click along the timeline to see and read placemarks on Google Earth. You can browse through and click on a list of important places in both polar regions. For further investigation and analysis of the polar regions you can activate a number of Google Earth layers within the Frozen Planet display. The display also includes videos about each region although the playlist for the Antarctic region is much longer than the playlist for the Arctic region.
Applications for Education
Frozen Planet: Explore the Polar Regions could be a good resource for both science and history teachers. In fact, Frozen Planet could be the basis for an interdisciplinary unit at the middle school or high school level.
Here’s a fun fact that I learned through Frozen Planet: Explore the Polar Regions, five years after being the first person to stand on top of Mount Everest Sir Edmund Hillary was part of the team that completed the first complete crossing of Antarctica .