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Northwood Flag flies in Antarctica!

Penguin Flag (1)Students at Northwood School in Raytown recently had the opportunity to collaborate with the education department of the Kansas City Zoo in a pilot project to design a flag which was flown in Antarctica.

With the help of teacher Brianne Wesche, students learned about penguins and their habits by conducting and reading research and posing questions to researchers in the field. Students were able to present their research and what they had learned at a student symposium at the zoo.

“The students really enjoyed learning about Antarctica and the various animals that live there, especially the penguins,” Wesche said.

The students visited www.penguinscience.com, and with the help of Jean Pennycook, a penguin researcher in Antarctica, they created a flag that would fly at a research station there.

Students started by creating a number of designs, voting on the final design, then painting the flag. The flag travelled to Pennycook, and upon arrival, it flew for two days at a penguin breeding colony. The flag was designed to welcome visitors to the breeding colony and to measure wind speeds there as well.

“One of their favorite parts of the project was learning about what types of animals/organisms live underneath Antarctic ice.  They were excited to have the opportunity to be creative and to design the flag using what they had learned throughout the project, and the flag includes several animals in the water that they remembered seeing in one of the videos,” Wesche said.

Northwood Director Mary Beth Sprecher sees great value in Wesche’s lesson for students.

“This project facilitated student engagement in critical thinking, team work, and creativity skills, as well as, allowed student learning to reach beyond the classroom.  It was a privilege for students to see their work displayed in Antarctica and to collaborate with organizations outside of their school,” Sprecher said.  “I am very proud of Mrs. Wesche and her students for their contribution to the penguin project and for representing Northwood so well.”

Northwood School serves special needs students.

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