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Media Advisory 09-010

NSF Offers Media an Early Glimpse of Polar Weekend at Baltimore's Maryland Science Center

Public events on April 4 and 5 focus on first-hand opportunities to experience art, culture and science from the Arctic and Antarctic

Photo of a NASA prototype lunar habitat at McMurdo Station, Antarctica.

A portion of a prototype lunar habitat set up at McMurdo Station, Antarctica is featured.

April 2, 2009

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Reporters can get a close-up look at a cylinder of ice more than 100,000 years old and a prototype lunar habitat that survived the rigors of a year in Antarctica during a media availability at the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore on April 3. This event also offers reporters a chance to speak to a Polar researcher and tour a gallery filled with artwork inspired by the rugged landscapes and cutting-edge science of the southernmost continent.

The Maryland Science Center will be the focal point of a range of public events April 4 and 5 that highlight federally funded Arctic and Antarctic research programs. The events are being held in conjunction with a meeting on the international treaty governing international cooperation and scientific research in Antarctica.

The Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting and the Polar Weekend also occur at the official close of the International Polar Year (IPY), which concentrated deployment into the polar regions by scientists from more than 60 countries. NSF was the lead U.S. agency for IPY, an effort that drew the participation of many federal agencies, including the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The Polar Weekend includes:

  • Interactive demonstrations and displays by the science center staff, including a high-defintion floor map of Antarctica produced by a joint NSF, NASA, and USGS project.
  • An exhibit of works by participants in NSF's Antarctic Artists and Writers program.
  • A series of presentations by Polar-Palooza, a project funded jointly by NSF and NASA, which brings polar researchers to science museums around the country.
  • The NSF-funded Polar Fair, which offers hands-on activities for children and their parents, and the chance to meet polar researchers face-to-face.
  • The premier of a new NASA-developed multimedia presentation, called "Frozen," for NOAA's Science on a Sphere® multimedia display system.
Who:Artists and polar researchers
What:Polar Weekend at the Maryland Science Center
Where:The Maryland Science Center, 601 Light St., Baltimore, Md.
When:10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Media Contacts
Peter West, NSF, (703) 292-7761, email:
Todd Scott, Himmelrich PR / Maryland Science Center, (410) 528-5400, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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