Workshop participants identified major objectives of polar education and outreach that we believe can be achieved by 2010. These major objectives can be clustered into: targeting learners at all levels, engaging diverse communities, leveraging the importance and excitement of polar science, and creating infrastructure for effective education and outreach.
Objectives that target learners at all levels include:
- Increase and sustain public engagement in polar regions at all levels -- from kindergarteners to Elderhostel programs.
- Increase student achievement by linking fascination with poles to improving curriculum and other teaching resources, and improve students’ science, math, and reading.
- Encourage lifelong scientific literacy through establishing an appreciation for science and nature by making connections between science and society early in life, and reinforcing those connections through varied media
Objectives that involve engaging diverse communities include:
- Arctic residents, including indigenous populations, are meaningfully engaged in developing and implementing polarresearch, education, and outreach, including community concerns and traditional knowledge, with an increase in the number Arctic residents—especially indigenous Alaskans—with PhDs.
- The diversity of those interested in polar science is significantly broadened, to include Arctic indigenous peoples,minorities, women, elders, and youth.
Objectives that leverage the importance and excitement of polar science include:
- Students and the general public better understand the roles of the poles in global systems and recognize the relevance of polar processes to their lives.
- Rich combinations of qualitative and quantitative multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary polar data from diverse world views are accessible and used effectively in research and education.
- A new generation of polar scientists, engineers, and leaders is successfully engaged and researchers successfully communicate the human face of polar science.
Objectives for effective education and outreach infrastructure include:
Dynamic, sustained, one-stop polar research and education web site is a central resource for content and contacts for all ages.
- Strong supportive partnerships evolve into a polar learning community with dynamic ongoing communication and collaboration among agencies, scientists, educators, media, northern peoples, students, communities, different countries, and the general public, building on existing programs and networks and incorporating modern technologies, field experiences and innovative teaching methods.
- Ensure the long-term involvement of educators and scientists, beyond the conclusion of the IPY, to sustain polar
science and education at the mainstream.
- Develop research, education and outreach programs that are truly international and link communities around the globe through common interests.