Antarctica trip a 'cool' science lesson

SARAH DUNN
Last updated 13:08 11/12/2013
Sarah Johns
MARION VAN DIJK/Fairfax NZ
BIG OPPORTUNITY: Nelson College for Girls biology and science teacher Sarah Johns is going to Antarctica on a research scholarship.

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Nelson biology and science teacher Sarah Johns is heading to Antarctica in her quest to make science "cool".

The Nelson College for Girls teacher will travel to the icy continent on December 17, spending just under a month finding out the food requirements of predators like Weddell seals, Adelie penguins and whales.

Mrs Johns said outreach was an important part of her Royal Society Teacher Fellowship, so she would keep up a blog and Facebook page so her students could follow as much of her trip as possible.

Following the trip, Mrs Johns will spend two terms building on her research at the Cawthron Institute with Cawthron molecular geneticist Jonathan Banks.

"That's pretty cool to be able to come back and actually have in-depth practical experience with that. Going to Antarctica will actually give me an opportunity to use methodology, to use cutting-edge technology in the field."

She said she would miss her daughters Pipi, 3, and Izzy, 6, but she was excited about the chance to inspire her students and get them feeling enthusiastic about science.

"I want to inspire girls to participate in science. I have two little girls and a husband, the students see me juggle that . . . I'm trying to show them all the possible avenues."

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- The Nelson Mail

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