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Children's author visits the South Pole

Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station hosted during December children's science writer Janice VanCleave as she and Randy Landsberg, the education coordinator for the University of Chicago-based Center for Astrophysical Research in Antarctic (CARA), led children on an educational adventure. Middle school students from different geographic locations suggested simple science experiments for VanCleave and Landsberg to perform at the South Pole; the students performed the same experiments in their schools. For example, an experiment might seek to answer the question, "Does water boil at the same temperature everywhere?"

Both the student groups and VanCleave and Landsberg posted the results of the experiments on an interactive Web site at Students can ask questions and get answers at the site. They were able to continue submitting ideas for experiments throughout the antarctic summer research season. The goal of the project is to stimulate interest in science and in Antarctica. Students and teachers can e-mail VanCleave and Landsberg at

VanCleave, who has written three dozen children's books and is a former Phi Delta teacher of the year, will use the experience to write another book in her "Science for Fun" series. She also holds "Fun With Science" workshops at libraries, schools, museums, and bookstores throughout the country.