Press Release

Extreme Conditions Provide Excellent Environment for HOW 2004

By SpaceRef Editor
February 13, 2004
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A NASA Goddard Space Flight Center scientist is preparing to host NASA Explorer
School (NES) teachers for Winter Camp 2004  History of Winter (HOW) at Northwood
School, Lake Placid, New York, the week of Feb. 15  21. HOW is a science learning
camp that will allow teachers the opportunity to live among and work alongside snow
and ice scientists as they study the records in the snow and lake ice

“I have always been fascinated by ice and snow and I thought it would be a good
way to enable teachers to be better science teachers, essentially   introducing them
to a teacher as scientist (TAS) role.” said Peter Wasilewski, of the Laboratory for
Extraterrestrial Physics at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.,
and director of the History of Winter expedition. He along with Dr. Roberts Gabrys,
Goddard Education Officer, created HOW in 2001.

According to Wasilewski, the goal of HOW this year, is to provide Explorer School
teachers with a better understanding about how “as only NASA can,” relates to ice
on Earth and beyond. “Teachers will be active participants as they learn from hands
on experience and then translate what they have learned into a teacher enhancement
framework that they would take back to their schools,” says Wasilewski.  “Ultimately
their work will be the resource for the resultant classroom enrichment products.”

Twenty-one teachers from twelve states are participating, some coming from as far
away as Oregon and Florida and including the mid-Atlantic region. “The teachers have
to sleep in the tents for the entire five days to gain the total experience, but this is
optional” said Wasilewski. “We also have the studies from previous years and will
be using the same techniques as before. We will be comparing our measurements
with those taken in the last three years.”

The teacher teams will investigate ice crystal patterns from Lake Placid, Cascade Lake
and the Icefall at the Cascade Lake site. They will learn about the study of solar system
ice, tools to be used, cold weather camping and lots more. “In years past the experience
has proven to be very effective and a great team building experience,” said Wasilewski.

Tony Gow from the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab with over
40 years of Arctic and Antarctic experience will be the scientific leader. Wasilewski will
lead a team of experts to create an on-site and follow-on science structure. Technical
experts will videotape, video stream and archive the events and the hands-on science

After the snow and ice studies are complete, teachers will use their history of winter
experience to develop an innovative science curriculum that meets National Science
Education Standards.

Lake Placid, host of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, is considered an ideal location
for non-polar snow-ice-cold investigations because of the extreme temperature and yearly
snowfall totals.

For more information about HOW check out the website at:

Go to for exciting visual records of the HOW2004 experience.

SpaceRef staff editor.