Tales of explorers and their adventures have always had a strong appeal for youngsters.
Eager, imaginative minds enjoy wondering how Lewis and Clark felt traveling up the Missouri River, what astronaut John Glenn was thinking as he orbited Earth or what it was like for Lt. Zebulon Pike to see Pikes Peak in Colorado for the first time.
Thanks to 21st century technology the explorers of tomorrow can still use the Internet to get a glimpse into the insights of modern-day explorers Ann Bancroft and Liv Arnesen, the first women to ski across Antarctica.
They tell the story of their 2,300-mile journey and "100 days on a remarkable continent" on the Internet at http://www.yourexpedition.com. School children from five continents are following the trip on the Internet and relating the expedition to their studies of science, math, language, health, geography, history, social studies and physical education. The expedition was of particular interest in many Minnesota classrooms, since Bancroft is a Minnesotan.
Just imagine if we had been able to learn Meriwether Lewis' day to day thoughts as he and William Clark traveled through the Dakotas and on to the Pacific Ocean in the early 1800s.
Bancroft, 45, of Scandia, and Arnesen, 47, of Oslo, Norway, continue to reflect on their successful expedition from on board the Australian ship that is taking them north, toward home and away from the bottom of the world.
As an added benefit, this polar expedition featured two women, driving home the point for young girls that women were as well suited to braving the dangers and rigors of a transcontinental journey as men. Bancroft has made a habit of breaking down such stereotypes, having already traveled to the North Pole.
Obviously, the 21st century explorers benefited from technology that was not available to the early polar explorers. Bancroft and Arnesen were able to call in air transportation so they could be retrieved from the massive Ross Ice Shelf before the onset of Antarctica's winter.
While early polar explorers may have accomplished their feat without modern technology, the Internet has certainly been a great educational tool in this arduous ski expedition.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.