Wellington, Nov 24 : Students in New Zealand are experiencing Antarctica from the comfort of their classrooms, thanks to virtual field trips provided to them by two explorers.
According to a report in stuff.co.nz, Christchurch-based Learnz team members Darren Atkin and Charmaine Nelson are at Scott Base in Antarctica for two weeks to film and photograph the great southern continent, taking New Zealand children on a virtual field trip.
The explorers hold live audio conferences with schools twice a day and upload diaries, videos and photographs on to their website each night.
Nelson and Atkin have taken the students across the sea ice, down dive holes in the ice and on Antarctic field training to experience camping out in a polar tent and building shelters from snow.
"I think it's the fact that they're talking to experts down there, actually experiencing it. That means more to the pupils than going to a website or reading a book, it's a lot more of a genuine experience for them, said Jo Dudley, a teacher from Ilam School in Christchurch.
"The images and video they send back blow you away," she added.
Pupils can ask questions via audio and video conferences, with queries also being answered on a web board with help from experts at Scott Base.
Nelson, who has worked in environmental education, said it had been "a blast taking students down virtually".
According to Atkin, it had been "great seeing how science has to meet the challenges of working in such an extreme environment, and being able to introduce students to the people here".