Sun 5: Let’s drive across Antarctica to bore a hole!

As we kiss goodbye to Daylight Savings, we venture south… to Antarctica.

Written by      

Neil Silverwood

Below are some talking points and activities to pass the time, all relating to today’s story. If young readers find it tricky; just look at the pictures and read the captions to figure it out.

Talking points

Discuss the ideas presented in the story with your family—at home or over video conferencing. Find ways to involve as many people as possible, especially those who you know are isolated by the lock-down.

  • What surprises you about the photo of the plane that takes people to Antarctica?
  • There are 30 tents – one of them as large as a 4 bedroom house – in the tent village the scientists put up. Why do you think such a lot of infrastructure is needed to do science at the South Pole?
  • “The ice sparkles in the sunlight, but the wind and temperature are brutal.” Do you think you would enjoy visiting Antarctica? Would you rather go there as a tourist, or as a scientist who lives there for months at a time? Why?
  • What do you think of the way the hot-water drill works – does it sound like a clever invention to you or would you drill another way?
  • Why is it helpful for scientists to figure out how the Ross ice shelf is being affected by the water currents underneath?

Task for the day

Make an ice wreath that sparkles in the sunlight and enjoy watching it melt!

  • Fill a ring cake tin with water. (Don’t have a ring cake tin? Use any cake tin or any container—you will end up with a block of ice instead of a wreath.)
  • Walk around the garden (or the neighbourhood) and pick any small flowers or leaves that catch your eye.
  • Lay these in the cake tin so that they float in the water.
  • Place the cake tin in the freezer. Try to keep it flat so the water stays level.
  • Leave it overnight or for several hours until it is frozen solid.
  • Remove the solid ice wreath and hang it up somewhere to enjoy the sparkles. It will slowly melt.

Send us a picture of your ice sculpture!