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18 March, 2000

Imagine you've been selected to go on the trip of a lifetime - something you've dreamed about doing but never really believed you would have the chance to do. Now picture a room full of people like that and you will have an idea of what orientation for teachers selected for TEA, Teachers Experiencing the Arctic and Antarctic, was like at National Science Foundation (NSF) Headquarters in Washington D.C.

Seated with fourteen other educators from around the United States, I learned all about the structure of NSF's Office of Polar Programs (OPP) and Division of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Science Education (ESIE) - the two organizations who make TEA possible. Major players in each of these organizations shared their dreams of the role of TEA in advancing science education and training throughout the U.S. We also heard from past TEA parcticipants, principal investigators who have worked with TEA's, an expert on native cultures of the north, and other experts on surviving in the working conditions of polar regions. Their words, pictures, and emotions put a bit more flesh on the dream of the trip and for me at least, generated additional anticipation of the trip to come. Fortunately, I only have to wait two more months to head out on my adventure, I think I'd be unbearable to live with if I had to wait 7 or 8 months like some of the Antarctic TEA's.

If traveling to the Arctic or Antarctic and doing research is one of your dream trips, I hope you have the opportunity to experience it at some time in your life. Until that time comes join us at TEA by following our journals as we head into our trips of adventure and discovery.

More to come later, Jay

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