Grafton – Touchstone Community School Middle School students recently joined classrooms around the world for the first of a weekly video conference connecting then to the Weddell Sea Expedition 2019.
The expedition’s goals include investigating the Larsen C Ice Shelf, studying the marine life of the western Weddell Sea ecosystem, and locating the wreck of Shackleton’s ship, the “Endurance,” which became trapped and crushed before sinking into the Weddell Sea in 1915.
The crew, which includes glaciologists, marine biologists, oceanographers and marine archeologists will deploy drones, autonomous underwater vehicles, and remotely operated vehicles as they research and explore. They will use a sediment corer to sample the ice and also hope to access the water beneath the ice for the first time.
Touchstone students will participate in weekly video conferences throughout the 45 day expedition. Antarctic traveler Holly Ewart will field questions from students and educators around the globe during the expedition and the classroom will access field notes, journals, and the ship logbook using resources provided by Reach the World.
Ewart travels for Reach the World, an educational organization that “makes the benefits of travel accessible to classrooms, inspiring students to become curious, confident global citizens.” Reach the World promotes global competency by connecting travelers to students and classrooms. The program’s goals include global knowledge, a global network, and global empathy in service of the power of global possibility.
Touchstone Community School is a projects-based, hands-on, pre-K through grade 8 school in Grafton, Mass. where the student experience remains at the center of the educational process. For more information about Touchstone’s STEM programs, Innovation Lab, integrated social and emotional curriculum, and joyful learning environment, visit www.touchstoneschool.com or call 508-839-0038.