Morristown Teacher Phones in Arctic Lesson

Erin Colfax, a science teacher at Morristown High School, did not show up for class on September 23. Instead, she was in head-to-toe rain gear giving her students a firsthand lesson on global warming via a live satellite video feed from the Arctic tundra to a classroom computer.

Science teacher Erin Colfax warms up to the challenge of a two-week Arctic expedition.
Photo courtesy of Erin Colfax.

Colfax’s two-week expedition brought her together with ten other educators and a team of scientists studying climate change.

Colfax, 29, was housed at the Northern Arctic Research Center in Churchill, Manitoba, and reported the ups and downs of life in the field through her blog. “We spent hours crawling on our stomachs in search of 50 white-spruce seedlings and saplings. Basically, it is like searching for a half-inch tall Waldo in a giant 30-square-foot Where’s Waldo book!” 

Students also followed the journey and communicated through a video streaming blog on “The study that Ms. Colfax is on is informing me of what’s going on in the world,” wrote Isamar Valenzuela, 16, a junior at Morristown High School. “It’s ignorant to not know about what’s affecting our planet.” 

There were plenty of magic moments for Colfax, but most of all, she was pleased for her students. “This is what education is about—collaboration,” she says. “Not every school district would let a teacher go during the school year. I’m very grateful.”

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