COAL TOWNSHIP -- A teacher in the Shamokin area is getting ready to leave for a polar expedition and teach her students from inside an airplane.
All of Kelly McCarthy's physics classes packed into one room at Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School near Shamokin for a special lesson. The students used Skype to talk with a program director at NASA and asked him questions. It's all in preparation for a trip McCarthy will take next week to Greenland.
McCarthy is one of 15 teachers chosen out of 300 by NASA and a group called Polartrec, to participate in an educational trip. The program is paid for by the National Science Foundation. McCarthy will spend about one month flying over Greenland, studying a model of the changing ice sheets.
"They fly nine-hour paths over either the Greenland ice sheets or over the Arctic Ocean," McCarthy said.
McCarthy leaves next Wednesday and all this week, her students are doing activities to get involved with her trip. In addition to the Skype session, the school's kindergarten class asked questions, made flags for McCarthy to bring on her trip, and tried on her uniform.
With all of this technology, the students say they're excited to be able to talk to their teacher while she's away on her expedition.
"Actually see Greenland and all the glaciers and everything that she sees, we get to see," Tommy Nguyen said.
"The technological equipment they have is really incredible, and it's really a cool experience," Cage Crissman said.
"The team can say, 'Oh, we just did a dive over a glacier. This is what it felt like. By the way, this is the data we got,' and send it to them and they can see what they're collecting and what they see at the same time," McCarthy said.
If your school would like to learn right along with her class, click here.