Pacific Science Center
February 27-March 1, 2015
Investigate a real ice core from Greenland, survey microbes from the coldest parts of the world, compare an arctic ice camp with a research tent used in the Antarctic, take the salinity taste test and join a spectacular smashing ice demonstration as you meet and talk to polar researchers.
It's all part of Polar Science Weekend, returning to Pacific Science Center for the tenth straight year on February 27-March 1, 2015. Presented in partnership with the University of Washington's Applied Physics Laboratory, students, families and guests of all ages will enjoy three action-packed days of hands-on activities, demonstrations, exhibits and more - all transporting you into the extreme environments of the Arctic and Antarctic. You will also meet polar scientists who work in some of the most remote and challenging places on earth.
Polar Science Weekend is included with price of general admission - FREE for Pacific Science Center members.
± Table Activities
Below Freezing: Looking for Microbes in the Coldest Places (SAT & SUN only)
Discover what astrobiology is, and what it has to do with ice. Besides Earth, where in the solar system is there ice?
Dust on Antarctica (FRI & SAT only)
Try making your own dust pattern spray across Antarctica. Most of Antarctica is covered with ice, so where does the dust come from?
Float Your Boat
We're going to set 1000 toy boats adrift in the Arctic Ocean. Come write your own message on one of the boats! Where do you think your boat will end up?
Watch glaciers made out of silly putty ooze down a slope and find out what makes them so important in the world's climate. Where does the ice in glaciers come from?
Greenland Ice Core
See a real core of ice from the Greenland ice sheet. Learn how scientists use ice cores to study Greenland and climate change. What do the bubbles in the ice core tell us?
The Influence of Polar Seas on the Global Ocean (FRI and SUN only)
Challenge your understanding of the deep oceans by exploring how temperature and salt influence ocean circulation. Where does the water in the deep ocean come from?
Life in Ice – Some Like it Really Cold!
See what lives in the frozen world of sea ice. In what season do we find the most microbes in sea ice?
Living and Working in Antarctica
See what it's like to live and work on the coldest, driest, highest and windiest continent. Check out the tent and the clothing! How cold is it in Antarctica in the summer? In the winter?
Living with Penguins – Our Fascination and Our Impact
Meet penguin researchers and learn how to census and measure penguins. How do you estimate the health of a wildlife population?
Narwhal Mysteries! (SAT & SUN only)
Learn about narwhals – play an activity game and collect your own data to solve the mystery! How deep do narwhals dive for food?
Learn how scientists retrieve a 13,000-foot-long string of scientific instruments anchored to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean. Why do we anchor the string of instruments to the bottom of the ocean instead of hanging it from the ice on the surface of the ocean?
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (FRI & SAT only)
Learn how polar bears are impacted by global warming and what you can do to help protect these incredible animals. Check out a polar bear skull and pelt. What do polar bears eat?
Polar Detectives: The Case of the Arctic Seals and Disappearing Ice
Assemble a map puzzle and add your favorite Arctic animals. Solve the mystery of why ice is disappearing and offer solutions that you can put into practice. Why is ice so important to seals?
Polar Science Technology
Find out what a ULS and a CTD are. Check out a buoy that's deployed on the sea ice and watch how it drifts across the Arctic. Meet the underwater robot Seaglider and learn about buoyancy. What does a CTD measure?
Polar Slideshow (SUN only)
See what it's like to work in the Arctic and Antarctic and talk to a veteran of more than 30 polar field programs. How do scientists set up ice camps in the spring out on the Arctic sea ice?
Salinity Taste Test
Can you taste the difference between the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans? Your tongue is an amazing salinometer! Come try it out. How salty is the ocean?
Sea Ice vs. Freshwater Ice
Feel the difference between salty ice and fresh ice. Watch what happens when colored dye is dropped on the ice. What does "porous" mean?
Stinky, Slimy Fish Stomachs (FRI only)
Look inside a fish stomach! What is most important to measure? Does size matter?
U.S. Coast Guard
Learn about life on an icebreaker. Try on a survival suit! How thick is the ice that an icebreaker can break through?
Waves in the Arctic Ocean (SAT only)
Test your skill as an ocean wave observer and see if you can tell how big the waves are. How big are waves in the Arctic Ocean?
Where Does Arctic Ocean Water Come From? (SAT & SUN only)
Water enters the Arctic Ocean from many sources. Can you name one?
Where is the Polar Front? (FRI only)
Use a research ship or satellites to map the water temperature of the Southern Ocean. How does water temperature influence the atmosphere and the climate?
± Live Science Stage Demos
Arctic Marine Mammals – Kristin Laidre
SAT 11:30 a.m.
Meet Kristin Laidre, a biologist who studies Arctic whales and polar bears. What is the narwhal’s tusk for? Ask Kristin!
Extreme Cold- Mike Steele
SAT 2:30 p.m. and SUN 11:30 a.m. & 2:30 p.m.
What is the Arctic? What is the Antarctic? What is sea ice? How cold is it there? Not as cold as liquid nitrogen! Let's freeze stuff and smash it! Liquid nitrogen for Extreme Cold is donated by Airgas Specialty Gases.
Keep it Cool for Polar Bears!- Heather Detwiler
SAT 1 p.m.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's science educator will talk about how polar bears are ideally suited to their Arctic home and how their Arctic habitat is changing. Enjoy a polar bear "dress-up" demonstration, touch real polar bear fur and a skull model and find out what you can do to help polar animals.
Living and Working in Antarctica- Alasdair Turner
SAT & SUN 4 p.m.
What is it like to live and work on the coldest, driest, highest and windiest continent? Photographer Alasdair Turner documents daily life living and working for the United States Antarctic Program as a field trainer and mountaineer.
FRI 11:30 a.m. & 1 p.m. & SUN 1 p.m.
Experience the thrills, spills and chills of a liquid substance so cold it can shatter rubber balls and power a small cannon! The audience will experience firsthand the wonders of super cold temperatures while examining experiments on the three states of matter. With clouds of vapor and exciting effects, this show is a sight to see. Liquid nitrogen for Supercold is donated by Airgas Specialty Gases.
± Additional Activities
FRI, SAT & SUN 1 and 2:15 p.m.
To the Arctic 3D takes audiences on a never-before-experienced journey into the lives of a mother polar bear and her twin seven-month-old cubs as they navigate the changing Arctic wilderness they call home. Tickets required.
Investigating Arctic Ice Melt
Discover what local scientists are learning about climate change and Arctic sea ice through images, videos, objects and hands-on activities.
Arctic Ice Camp
Visit the hut, check out the equipment, and try on the clothing!
Put on the harness and pull the sled, just like polar explorers used to do!
Create a Snowflake
Cut out your own paper snowflake and learn about the science of snow.
The Polar Regions at Science On a Sphere
FRI 11:50 a.m., SAT & SUN 11:50 a.m. & 1:50 p.m.
The audience will use science practices such as planning an investigation and analyzing data to explore the polar regions of our Earth. Using hands-on props and interaction with a live science interpreter, they will compare the Arctic and the Antarctic as well as explore different types of ice found in each location, and learn about the causes and effects of melting polar ice.
Polar Science Weekend is a partnership between Pacific Science Center and the University of Washington's Polar Science Center and Applied Physics Laboratory, with additional support from the College of the Environment's Future of Ice Initiative and the Quaternary Research Center. Visit psc.apl.uw.edu.