Posted by: sioglac | Nov 10, 2011

Ocean Beach Elementary Trip

Just quick note before I hop off to the airport. This morning, Helen, Sasha, and I went down to Ocean Beach Elementary and talked to some 3rd and 4th graders about our research and my upcoming trip to Antarctica. We had an absolute blast talking the kids and they were totally loaded with questions for us.  Two moments that really stood out for me:

1) A girl asked what I’m going down there to study. (Something that I *still* haven’t talked about on here yet. I’ll do it soon. I promise). I got totally sidetracked almost right off the bat. 5 minutes later, her hand pops back up. “You didn’t answer my question. What are you studying?!” I swear this was a more demanding audience than any group of graduate students and professors to whom I’ve talked before.

2) Because of the girl above, we started talking about subglacial lakes, their effect on ice velocities, and that we are going to drill into one in an upcoming field season. A girl raises her hand and asks, “So are you looking for prehistoric life in there?” Right on the money. It was completely and utterly mind-blowing that a 10 year made the necessary scientific connections to realize these lakes that have been covered for millions of years would provide us with a wholly unique perspective on evolutionary biology. After the question, I turned to Helen and quipped, “Well that girl is going to be a scientist…” If you are the one who asked that question and are reading this, I beg you, CONTINUE WITH SCIENCE!

Anywho, thanks for having us, OB Elementary. Get excited for the pictures upon my return.

Sasha explaining subglacial lakes to an enthralled audience.
Note: the globe on its side. Obviously a glaciologist was in the room.



  1. Good job getting those young scientists excited! Safe travels!

  2. Hello from sunny San Diego. The kids are excited that you are starting your research. We hope this note finds you well and keeping warm! We are looking forward to hearing from you soon. Take care Matt!

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