Scientists let kids manipulate their toys

On June 7, 2016, the GreenEdge team has organized many activities to showcase and explain the project, and to let kids sample and manipulate the scientific toys that they use daily. What a better way to learn than go and see for yourself?

Grade 7 to 12 students from the Inuksuit school (Qikiqtarjuaq) visited the Ice Camp to see and learn what those scientists do everyday on the ice.

In the PolarHaven tent, students are invited to manipulate Niskin bottles, used for water sampling. They learn to « get them ready » for deployment and launch a messenger, a weight that releases the caps to close the bottles.

Video montage: Christiane  Dufresne

The ROV (remotely operated vehicle) team shows the kids how this remotely commanded robot can film and collect data under the ice. Our trainees were thrilled to control the submarine and to discover the amazing underwater view.

Kids are also excited to discover bioluminescence from Metridia Longa, a copepod that produces light under stress. These crustaceans feed on phytoplankton and live throughout the water column from the darkest layer to the surface. They are sampled with a zooplankton net that has been described in a previous post .

Outside, kids learn to core the ice and discover the algae that live below it. They discover an important characteristic of the sea ice: its brine channels. Coloured water is poured over the ice core to highlight the channels that form in the sea ice and show how nutrients penetrate the ice for algae to grow. (To learn more about ice coring, read “The dark side of ice coring”).

A little further along, the Optics and Light team is happy to explain how sunlight can be attenuated by snow and ice, and how dark it can be underwater. Kids are surprised to learn how little of sunlight penetrates the ice: only 0.1% to 5% of the light above the ice reaches the water! Still, this amount of light is enough for phytoplankton to grow. After a little snack, our rookie scientists returned to school, pleased with their morning on the ice.

Christiane Dufresne

Video montage: Christiane  Dufresne
Text and Voice: Joannie Ferland



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