Canadian Museum of Nature

Canadian Museum of Nature
Expedition Arctic

Expedition Arctic
Students on Ice

Students on Ice
Virtual Museum of Canada

Virtual Museum of Canada

January 08, 2014 15:00 ET

New Web Site Reveals Incredible Natural Diversity of the Arctic

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Jan. 8, 2014) - A new educational Web site launched today by the Canadian Museum of Nature and Students on Ice, in partnership with the Virtual Museum of Canada (an initiative of the Department of Canadian Heritage), shows that there is truly more to the Arctic than meets the eye! ExpeditionArctic.ca is a bilingual online project aimed at youth aged 14 to 29. It follows four experts with the Canadian Museum of Nature and two teenage participants during an expedition to Canada's Eastern Arctic and western Greenland.

The Web site is peppered with documentary HD videos, interactive maps, gorgeous landscapes, colourful photos, and blog posts that enliven this journey of discovery to reveal some of the plants, wildlife, people and fossils associated with the Arctic. The site also features in-depth profiles of 28 specimens from the Canadian Museum of Nature's world-class Arctic collections.

"We're delighted to share the results of a collaborative web initiative focussed on a fascinating and significant part of our planet," says Meg Beckel, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of Nature. "ExpeditionArctic.ca reflects the museum's expertise in the study of Canada's Arctic, and we hope it will inspire young people to learn more about the North."

The content for the site was gathered during a July 2012 expedition to the Arctic organized and led by Students on Ice and its founder and Expedition Leader Geoff Green. The four museum experts, who specialize in the study of plants, fossils, mammals and algae, are shown sharing their passion for science and the Arctic as they are followed by a documentary team from Habitat Seven.

The youth point-of-view is provided by two teens, Dang-Dang Gruben from Inuvik, Northwest Territories, and Marine Poirier-Defoy from Gatineau, Quebec. All were part of the larger expedition team that included about 110 Canadian and international youth, elders, artists, scientists, musicians and inspirational leaders.

"Our goal is to connect, engage, motivate and inspire our youth by taking them into the Arctic-the greatest classroom on Earth", explains Green who has led 125 expeditions to both the Arctic and Antarctic. "This exciting new educational site offers a great way of sharing this amazing part of the Planet with even more youth across the country."

ExpeditionArctic.ca is anchored around four main themes: The Expedition (accounts of the journey's highlights including the locations visited); The Team (profiles of the four experts and two students, with videos from the field and in the lab); The Collection (profiles of plants, animals, microoganisms and fossils found in the Arctic); and an Arctic IQ, a weekly quiz to challenge users about the information they learn from the site.

Teachers can benefit from eight lesson plans that cover subjects such as Arctic ecosystems, natural history, climate change, and careers in science. A bonus for teens aged 14 to 18 is a chance to win a spot on the summer 2014 Students on Ice trip to the Arctic from July 9 to 24. Points can be earned by answering the weekly quiz and sharing the site with friends on Facebook and Twitter.

ExpeditionArctic.ca is also accessible on iPad and Android tablets.

About the Canadian Museum of Nature

The Canadian Museum of Nature is Canada's national museum of natural history and natural sciences. The museum provides evidence-based insights, inspiring experiences and meaningful engagement with nature's past, present and future. It achieves this through scientific research, a 10.5 million specimen collection, education programmes, signature and travelling exhibitions, and a dynamic web site, nature.ca. The museum's collections of Arctic plants and fishes are among the best in the world.

About Students on Ice

Students on Ice (www.studentsonice.com) is an award-winning organization that provides students from around the world with inspiring educational opportunities at both ends of our Earth and in doing so, helps them foster a new understanding and respect for our planet.

About the Virtual Museum of Canada

The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC), managed by the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), is an initiative that enables the creation of Canadian digital heritage content, ensures its availability, and encourages access to this content by Canadian and international audiences. It is a major online initiative that presents Canada's history, heritage and culture to domestic and international audiences through online exhibits and other digital resources. The VMC portal features content produced by CHIN's more than 1,600 museum partners.

About Habitat Seven:

HabitatSeven is an interactive design studio that helps people who help make our world a better place. We do this by creating cutting-edge media assets for people who are making a smarter, healthier, and more sustainable planet. Our team combines Ph.D. level experts in science, education, sustainability and development with leading designers and technology developers.

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