1) How do you describe the objectives of TEA?
To make Antarctica come alive to students and colleagues at home while the TEA is in the field and after their return to the classroom. Students learn by experiencing real life situations that become personal to them. This live connection becomes a lead-in to entice the interest level of students in science while integrating the Antarctic experience into the essential learnings of the curriculum
To enhance communication and education. The teachers should be expected to report on the activities from the field in a way that explains the purpose and importance of the research and the excitement of discoveries.
To encourage scientific research, both applied and otherwise. TEA encourages the use of technology and the development of new curriculum ideas.
To promote educational and public support for Antarctic research. The reasons are obvious to us, but need to be spelled out to our students and others.
To offer teachers an opportunity to do hands on field research who are seeking to incorporate and disseminate research based activities into their subject area. Antarctica serves as a theme that can be incorporated into all subject areas, and should serve as the hook that catches students, other teachers and the communities interest in science.
To provide field experiences to teachers.
To provide parcticipants with the background and experiences to share their knowledge and demonstrate the role of research in science education to their students, colleagues, and community.
To prepare science educators by directly linking them to research in the field. TEA gives teachers a better understanding of the scientific process, and opens them up to resources that they may not have previously known existed.
To offer students the opportunity to "parcticipate" more directly in research through e-mail and web sites. It gives them a grasp of real-world research and its value.
To provide the entire community with information on web sites, but also through community presentations given by TEA parcticipants. This may serve to increase their support of funds for research.
To match science educators with research projects in Antarctica. Through active parcticipation in the role of "research assistant" the teachers come away with a greater appreciation and knowledge of the process of science. This valuable experience will then be shared with students, colleagues, and the community.
2) How do you describe the expectations of TEA parcticipants and of the school district?
It is essential that the TEA be able to demonstrate regular communication with their students and district while in the field. There also needs to be a commitment to continued use of their experience in their schools as well as continued involvement and commitment the support of the TEA program.
Although my superintendent, principal, and the president of the school board were absolutely wild about the project, our director of curriculum did not have a clue to its value........consequently, she did not do anything to get the word out. Fortunately, the largest paper in the state got wind of the project from Johns Hopkins and printed a front page lead on it. This got many other districts working on using TEA. I would have to say that most of the work done was initiated by teachers' word of mouth and not administrators.
TEA parcticipants should be expected to provide not only the required field time, but a minimum of two years of documented outreach to students, teachers, and community on a local, state and national level. School districts should provide at least one week of release time for two years following the teachers return for TEA parcticipants to attend state and national conferences and for specific TEA developmental projects.
My school is extremely supportive of professional development. The TEA was a great opportunity for me to grow as a teacher, but also for the school to receive some positive P.R. My board and administrators have also allowed me release time in order to visit schools in order to talk about my experiences. Overall, it has been a win/win situation.
TEA parcticipants expect to be treated as a valuable member of the research team. School districts expect to have the TEA parcticipant share their experience with as many students and teachers as possible both during their experience and after "re- entry" into the academic world.
(SSS: For the TEAs: guidelines and a three year game plan of continued, focused outreach
For the school district: demonstration of positive PR, request for outreach release time, request that the TEA work with the district curriculum developers.)
3) Were you provided sufficient information about what to expect before leaving?
My experience with my PI could not have been better. I was expected to be an equal partner in the teams research. Therefore, he sent me copies of all journal arcticles he had written outlining the type of research we were involved in. I also spent a good deal of time with him and his grad students looking at what we would study. Once we were in the field, I stayed close to the PI at the beginning. He spoke every relevant thought out-loud so that I could follow his train of thought and understand what we were looking for. After a while I knew enough to search for information on my own and to parcticipate in theoretical discussions.
Unfortunately, not all PI's are like mine. Some of the other parcticipants were told to come up with their own project and work on that. TEAs already have a project---to communicate the information gathered by the scientists to the general public. Unless the teacher seriously has a project they would really like to work on, being told to find your own project is sort is like being told, "Go play in your room kid, we're involved in serious work here."
From the research side I felt well prepared and my PI was very helpful and supportive. From the NSF side, the expectations for presentations, journals, newspaper arcticles, and other information was vague and loosely structured.
Many sources f information were required. The PI, videos by NSF (safety and waste disposal), the personnel manual, Robert Holmes' Home page. The orientation meeting was very helpful, but had to be augmented because I was based out of a station, not on a ship, and had to work at a field camp. I needed a field manual and never got one.
ASA sent me plenty of info., as did NSF. Also, the scientist with whom I worked was very helpful, and communicated on a regular basis.
It was extremely valuable to have been given the opportunity to spend time over summer vacation with the PI and the research team that had taken nearly the same cruise as the one planned. They had many useful suggestions, in terms of packing, from the obvious to the obscure. They were able to describe what day-to-day living and working conditions would be like.
4) What suggestions do you have that could assist TEA parcticipants in the first steps of preparation?
Develop a brochure of helpful hints by past TEAs.
Have team-building experiences to increase respect, commitment, sharing, and communication.
Talk to previous TEAs - use them as mentors. (x 2)
Communicate with your PI as soon as possible! Ask him/her to define your role and to explain what will be expected of you. (x3)
Get copies of past publications, and read up on the topic. (x3)
If you're not in top shape, get there!
Get information on how to send out e-mail from Antarctica depending on where you are working.
Get familiar and comfortable with e-mail and the internet.
Get your family hooked up so that they can communicate with you.
Read books on Antarctica.
Start an Antarctic library - collect resources that you can take with you to answer kids questions.
Read and review the GLACIER/TEA site.
Be prepared to work with other people under difficult circumstances.
Understand that you are a guest, and that people are taking a risk in supporting you on this project. Your actions affect many people.
5) What suggestions do you have for PI's to better assist TEA parcticipants?
Before the expedition?
Be available during the visit to the institution - have time to advise the TEA.
It is really up to the PI to see that the teacher is well prepared for the research. If the PI does not have the time to send information and to explain what is needed, the PI should decline the TEA parcticipant.
Plan to utilize the TEA in the field. The PI that applies to have a TEA should have some idea of the part he/she would like the TEA to play in the grand scheme of the research program.
Recognize that the TEA parcticipant is a teacher, and is an intelligent professional who is trainable and who can serve as an arm between you and the community (x2).
Send all relevant journal arcticles before the TEA visits the institution (project proposal, arcticles, etc.). (x4)
Have a 2-3 week orientation with TEA in the summer so that they know what research they will be doing - do not rush this experience; too much information in too little time will not help the PI, TEA, or project. (x2)
Pair the TEA with a graduate student, post-doc, or lab tech.
Plan for training assuming that the teacher has no previous travel experience. Remember that most teachers have not booked travel and accommodations. Please be very specific as to what your University needs to reimburse for expenses.
At the institution visit, go over the science being undertaken, explain the procedures, provide examples of materials to be collected, etc. (x3)
Assist the TEA in developing a specific way to bring this research back into the classroom.
During the institution visit, have a real dialogue with the TEA. (x2)
Define what you expect the teacher to do that will enhance your project.
Share expectations - what does the TEA wish to accomplish?
Understand the responsibilities of the TEA to the TEA program (journals, etc.)
Explain the reasons why you have decided to include a teacher on your project.
During the expedition?
Keep the TEA involved in all phases of research. (x2)
Have a weekly science meeting in which the TEAs parcticipate and give presentations. This will keep folks up to date on changes, problems, and short-term plans (SSS: this is part of the process of science and should be shared; TEAs may want to keep the team updated on their classroom interactions).
Treat the TEA like a member of your team, rather than just a visitor (x2).
Give the TEA a meaningful project (involve them in the research) rather than an insignificant component.
Do not place the TEA in a vulnerable position. They should not have to answer to ASA...the PI should.
Do not give the teacher more responsibility than they should have. That could put you both at risk.
Offer encouragement to the TEA as well as constructive criticism; be candid.
Tell the TEA when they are in the way.
Tell the TEA specifically what you want them to do and when.
Take time to answer questions and discuss your daily work.
Challenge the TEA to think about the science.
(SSS: Many of these suggestions have been incorporated into the 1997/1998 PI letter
Perhaps further queries need to focus on "member of the team" as defined by the TEAs - there appears to be a feeling that a) they were not treated that way; b) some did not expect to be treated that way.)
After the expedition?
Invite the TEA to return to your institution to discuss the research results; at least continue corresponding with the TEA. (x5)
Allow the TEA to continue parcticipating in the research.
Inform the teacher when and where your research has been published or presented (x2).
Share data with the TEA for classroom use.
Serve as an ongoing resource (x2).
Assist the teacher in "follow-through" in their classroom.
collaborate with the TEA on an educational work - it could be a lab activity, simulation, etc.
(SSS: Staying in contact appears to be the biggest focus; lots of disappointment on this note. Address in initial PI site visit? Address by having PI visit school. If interested in continuing collaboration, or being updated, bug the PI and see what happens.)
6) How would you describe your field experience? If you could go back, what would you change?
One of the greatest experiences I have ever had.
The experience goes beyond words, but it was exciting, exhilarating, and incredible. At no time did I wish that I was back home. I felt like a sponge, and that every moment was to be savored and absorbed. It was an experience of a lifetime.
The only thing I would change would be my length of time there---a month was too short.
I would have changed very little except, I would have asked for others to take photos of me as well as video. I felt uncomfortable asking given the dynamics of my group. I think that it is important to have documentation of your physical presence on the ice.
I would like to be able to be able to speak "live" from my research area back to my classroom.
I would change nothing!
While I loved working with my PI, but I might have been more appropriately placed with someone in my own field of study: biology or ecology. If I were to do it again I would design a specific plan for continuing, in some way, related research with my students. I am not a physicist, so that it was difficult at best to come back and work with the crystalline structure of ice. (x2)
For the most part my experience was positive, but I feel I was treated more like an outside observer and utilized as an extra set of hands to do nothing but the grunt labor. I would liked to have played a more active role in the research. I felt that the PI did not use people to their fullest capacity. There was a lack of any kind of reasonable schedule and labor-saving devices (there were several injuries that could have been avoided) and decidedly a "boys-club atmosphere". I was lucky to have latched onto a graduate student who appreciated my help with her thesis work and experiments and fostered an environment of collaboration and mutual respect between trained scientist and high school teacher.
Fantastic because of where it was. My project was rather unconnected, and the post- doc was very involved with his own research - I worked alone. (Each research group or member had their own project that was part of the larger picture). The PI was only there for 1 1/2 weeks. Timing was difficult - both for when I could get away and because of the LTER site visit. I think the problem of working alone was as much related to the "work ethic" at the field site as it was due to several PIs parcticipating and a site visit occurring.
(SSS: The comment about matching the research interests of the TEA and the PI appears several times. Can the matches be tightened?)
7) Were the research goals clear to you? Did you parcticipate in the research? Will you continue to parcticipate in the research project?
The research goals were absolutely clear and it was very exciting to be a part of the research. I'll return to the institution to continue the analysis.
I felt that I provided as much to the project as I could while on the ship. I do not have access to the hardware and software to analyze the data, but I do feel that I can communicate with my PI and find out how things have worked out.
The goals were clear to me; I took an active role in the research and would have been happy to continue parcticipating if the opportunity was available
The research goals were clear. I parcticipated in my PI's research and also with the Young Scholar's research. I am still working on the data with the student.
The goals were quite clear, and my role immediately defined. The PI treated me like a professional at all times, and made me feel as though the research project depended, in part, on my work. The PI was great. I have not been able to continue to parcticipate.
Initially the goals were clear, however as the weather changed, equipment broke down, and the ozone hole shifted, plans shifted. Weekly meetings (above) would have cleared up some of the challenges that commonly appear in field work. I parcticipated as much as I could, but much of my time was spent as "sherpa.' hauling materials.
In as much as they are in print in the project publications. Each team had their own research (and goals). My post-doc suggested that I work on rotifer feeding behavior and from then on I was on my own. I will continue my work on the rotifers. I will attend the LTER meeting in June.
(SSS: The communication of research goals appears to be excellent. Suggested follow-up - why has continued parcticipation not been realized?)
8) What suggestions do you have for TEA's to better assist PI's?
Your first priority is to be the best assistant to your specific project as possible. Be aware of your responsibilities.
Read about the project you are undertaking.
All parcticipants should read A LOT before they go---especially about exploration history, the continent in general, life along the edges, McMurdo, journal arcticles by their PI, etc.
Get as much training as possible.
Discuss with the PI your expectations and responsibilities to the TEA program.
Take the work very seriously.
Follow the rules even though those around you may not be following the rules.
Stay focused on the work; do not complain; remain pleasant.
Be flexible with time arrangements.
Be independent and assertive.
Show the PI your worth; be fired-up, excited, flexible, understanding and dedicated.
Remind yourself that it will all go by far too quickly and that even the tough times are to be savored!
9) How can TEA support, before, during, and after, the expedition, be improved?
I wish we could send every good teacher down there. I think NSF should consider funding some history teachers to go there to study with the archeologists that sometimes work at Evans, Royds, or McMurdo.
TEAs could develop a bulletin on how to use their resources in the classroom and send it out to key people in each state. Most states are installing internet access into their classrooms, THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT IT'S GOOD FOR!
The access to TEA as well as the Glacier site obviously needs improvement. I keep seeing new improvements all the time. However, one problem is that as you expand, the routing through the site becomes more difficult (SSS:have addressed routing issue by simplifying routes; will have a separate TEA address this fall).
TEA should also hold a longer conference in DC and give lots of instruction on the computers and on the use of a digital camera.
The orientation workshop needs to reflect the computer and software availability in Antarctica at specific stations. (x2) Also, if you have any teachers like me who are in the field without electricity and e-mail service, they should learn how to communicate with what they have and to warn their students that delays can be long (SSS: plan to increase computer contact during 1997 orientation; e-mail software has been identified, ASA is aware of potential challenges to the TEAs and is willing to help smooth the e-mail path; notes will be posted on individual TEA pages if they will be in a remote field site).
Training needs to be provided well before departure. TEAs need to be trained in how to work with the technology that they will have access to and how to deal with the stresses of the research environment.
The improvements you are making and have made in relaying information on the internet greatly improves what you can do during the teachers stay.
Ensure earlier mentor-TEA meeting (orientation), earlier PI contact, and more training with the PI (SSS: earlier contact this season).
Be sure the PI really wants the TEA! Otherwise the experience is very poor.
Emphasize that the teacher's role must be substantial and meaningful. Make PI's see that the teacher is their arm to the community...which ties to public perception and continued funding. It also ensures a supply of future researchers (SSS: addressed in PI letter).
TEA support seemed to have improved for the folks deployed in 1996, unfortunately since my expedition was so early in the season, I was not able to benefit from the improvements in the program (I'm not complaining here, I just wanted you to know that the program seemed to make some really great strides). I think that the important things are to keep people informed, let them know what the expectations are for heir parcticipation and continue to support the exchange of ideas through parcticipation at professional meetings.
Provide digital cameras for the teachers (SSS: working on this......a little problematic with respect to arranging donations, maintenance, loan in the field, etc.).
Real-time question and answer sessions or seminars might be of interest (SSS: real time only possible through McMurdo, maybe Palmer Station; possibility discussed with ASA and we will attempt 4 CU-See Me sessions from McMurdo).
Have a teacher (previous TEA?) speak with the PIs before they begin to work with the TEA to ensure collaboration.
Have someone from NSF meet the TEAs at McMurdo (SSS: not sure this is necessary if all other channels of communication are open with the PI, ASA, etc.; this is beyond what is provided for first-time researchers).
Provide contact information about the PIs institution to the TEA. I found the PIs secretary most helpful (SSS: at the PIs discretion).
Provide examples of lessons already created in the content field of the new TEA ((SSS: will do when some are on the table from previous TEAs).
10) What questions did you receive from students while in the field? Did you have sufficient time and resources to address the questions?
I did have time and resources to answer the questions (see journal entries). I took the resources along with me---before leaving I tried to figure out what people would want to know about (penguins, McMurdo, weather, etc.) and put this information on my hard drive for reference. I had adequate time to write because of my PI's attitude about the project. He saw the value of having his research interpreted and put on the internet as it happens. I also stayed at McMurdo for a few days beyond the rest of the team to finish up anything that was left to do.
Yes. In my case I had many people at home working with me to make student communication successful.
I did not get questions while on the ice (no arrangements made). Questions during presentations focus on food, bathrooms, research, and significance and benefit of research.
I received the questions the day before I left Antarctica, so I did not have enough time to answer them.
Students most often asked questions about life on a ship, icebergs, and animal life. Yes, there were plenty of resources aboard the ship to help me to answer these questions. I barely had enough time to get to all of the questions.
I answered most of the questions in the journals that are posted on the GLACIER webpage. I had plenty of time to answer queries and would have welcomed more. The resources available n the ship were limited to probing the crew and research team. I had brought along a small research library that quickly became my most useful resource.
I received many questions about rotifers since I asked for help from students to design the research project. I got questions about the kinds of ice that forms (and couldn't answer).
(SSS: Key to emphasis on communication from the research station is PI awareness of:
a) TEA "responsibility" to classrooms and students.
b) impact TEA can have as a science liaison to the classroom and community.
Focus on how to increase student/teacher/TEA dialog)
11) How will you integrate your experience into your classroom? Beyond your classroom?
My biggest problem is trying to find time for all of the scheduled visits to classes. I will also be making presentations to teachers as well. As to integrating my experience to the classroom, I am leaving that to the teachers who have invited me to speak. The classes I visit will range from elementary science to physics and chemistry. These teachers have already asked me to make presentations about specific topics that might apply to what their classes are studying. One prevailing theme I will constantly keep in mind is the thrill of discovery.
The focus of my lecture and labs has changed to incorporate and simulate the use of real data from the ice and methods of data collection.
Outside of the classroom, my experience has somehow helped to validate my opinions and methods as a teacher. It has enhanced my ability to work with administration and other teachers.
I integrate my experience into my class lessons by using Antarctic examples in biology and physical science. I have on-going student research focusing on road- salt migration - an extension of my parcticipation in Antarctic research. I speak with civic groups, schools, and at state and National education conventions, and I run workshops at the local, state, and national level (content?)
I constantly use examples from Antarctica. We do gas laws problems with data from South Pole, determine pressure under LC-130's etc.
I have already incorporated activities such as graphing concentration of ozone, etc. (see # 11) Since the ARCUS conference I also will be linking real data from the internet and CD roms. Most recently I was accepted to the High School Aquanaut Program. This year, former TEA Dom Tedeschi (in conjunction with his PI Bill Baker) will be working with 12 teachers on a marine science project which ties directly to their work in Antarctica (chemical defenses of invertebrates), and which will involve students in the 2nd year.
I have made plans with a graduate student to collaborate on some lab activities for a marine science curriculum. We have already worked together on a student's science fair project based on some of our work in Antarctica.
I will incorporate my experience through/into slides, a unit on microbiology, science fair projects, arcticles for professional journals, etc.
I will have students help with experiment design, and look at work in Antarctica as necessary because of its simplicity and pristine nature.
I plan to give lots of talks at other schools, to community groups, at state science meetings, and national meetings.
12) What types of classroom materials do you anticipate developing following your return from Antarctica? What is the time frame for development? How will other TEA parcticipants be involved in the development of these activities? How can these materials best be disseminated?
I plan to:
Act as a resource person to my school and district through speaking.
Use my Antarctica experience as an example to students for goal seeking and esteem building.
Be a point source of publicity for GLACIER and TEA.
You can get some idea from my curriculum ideas from the ones I suggested on my page at the Glacier website. Since I will be visiting reading classes, young author's writing workshops, science classes, etc. I will design presentations for each situation. In turn, the teachers will be developing their own curriculum ideas before and after my visit. I don't know the time frame for development. I have presentations to make throughout the months of April and May. I will continue the work and do follow-ups during the summer and next school year. It could go on for years. Other TEAs are already involved through their journals. Much of their information is being incorporated into my presentations. Later their curriculum ideas will become available at Glacier. And, lacking face to face communication, we have e-mail. The materials can best be disseminated through the Glacier site, personal contact, and conventions.
The materials that I have developed have been classroom specific and have not been well disseminated. I hope to have them in hard copy form by the end of this summer.
I have used the results of my research experience to develop an ongoing-student research project. I think that the TEA Website is the best way to disseminate activities. More communication between TEAs will help with materials development.
I need time! I have developed one activity and may do others, but I am still trying to analyze data.
I would like to assemble a unit on microbiology for the 97-98 school year. I think the materials would best be disseminated through the TEA/GLACIER webpage with links to other pages that focused on teaching materials.
13) How can the impact of TEA be assessed? For the TEA parcticipant? For the classroom? For the community?
This questionnaire is a pretty good first step for parcticipants. However, I think there should be fewer questions and a check-list attitude survey to save time. Prior parcticipants should be randomly surveyed every few years.
Unless you are considering spending really big bucks, I would leave this up to the parcticipants and ask them how they did it in you questionnaire. However, I don't think the answers will be that enlightening, i.e., test, quiz, discussions, lab, etc.
Have TEAs compile a list of specific information that has been incorporated into their classroom.
The impact is not quantitative, rather it is qualitative. I believe having a TEA in a school or community provides a resource in the form a person that other places do not have. This opportunity to have a personal encounter with someone who has been to Antarctica changes people individually, one person at a time.
The newspapers are a good gauge (of impact in the community). In Delaware two of newspapers ran arcticles before I left and published excerpts from my journal while I was there. Right now I am working with the largest newspaper on a science page about my research in Antarctica; it will include pictures and graphics. Obviously, this is a very popular topic in Delaware.
I think that the best mode of assessment is continued parcticipation on the part of the TEA, and development of ways to reach students and the public.
Have individual TEAs keep track of presentations. Create evaluation forms for different target audiences to fill out (what did you learn?; what misconceptions did you have? how did this presentation benefit your class?). (x2)
(SSS: Based on Questions 11, 12, and 13:
Getting the TEA "experience" into the classrooms appears somewhat limited to:
a) presentations to various audiences. Is leaving integration to thenon-TEA teacher a good plan? Does the teacher need more than an hour presentation to integrate Antarctica into the classroom -- Resources? Materials? Continued communication with the TEA?
b) informal incorporation of information into the TEA's own classroom. How does this get into other classrooms? Can this be documented?
More concrete materials need to be developed. TEA program needs to forge a more concrete path for transfer of information and experience from the TEA, through the TEA classroom, and into other classrooms.)
14) How can TEA parcticipants and materials best be integrated with the project GLACIER general public website and middle school curriculum?
Send curriculum materials to GLACIER/TEA for review and posting on the Website. This will help build a thematic approach to a curriculum based on Antarctica.
Establish an open FTP site for TEA Antarctic resources on the web would be a good first start (SSS:will do this season) ).
Post all journals on the Website.
Create an electronic library of photos and video.
The GLACIER project can easily be promoted by TEA parcticipants. It can also be tied into almost any science course!
Advertise the TEA program on other web pages (NABT, NSTA, Access Excellence) - this will let colleagues know that TEAs are on the ice (SSS: will do this season).
15) How do you see TEA growing in the future?
With the incorporation of regular training sessions, and National conferences where TEA's can come together to share, I think that the enthusiasm for our work will continue to grow and expand.
Host follow-up conferences that include TEA parcticipants AND the research scientists.
Encourage visitation of researchers to the TEA's schools.
Develop a live hook-up from the ice.
Publish materials by TEAs on the TEA website. Use TEA/GLACIER to get computers into the classrooms - this is responsible, useful material - a good reason to use the computer!
Create a mechanism to sell at cost, hardcopy of materials to teachers without web access.
Middle and elementary school teachers are especially interested in Antarctica. Would it be possible to make another link in the chain with "lead teachers" from one of these schools in the TEA's district? These lead teachers could act as coordinator/trouble shooter while the TEA is in the field. The "lead teacher" could attend the pre-trip conference for training. This collaboration could foster greater parcticipation in the school district. I feel very strongly that having someone back home would keep enthusiasm high and bring more students and teachers into the program.
(SSS: Growth needs to include non-TEA parcticipants - how do the TEAs touch them? How do the experiences of the TEA get beyond their own lives and own classrooms?)
16) Other comments and suggestions?
We need to find a way to break through the arrogance barrier of scientists to generate a new understanding of how science teachers and scientists can work together. We need to raise the awareness level in terms of shared situations - funding issues, the need to clearly communicate, the passion of science, the general mistrust o the public, etc. Both groups need to better understand the values and benefits of collaboration and a better educated general public. Doing science is no longer an automatic right - it is an earned privilege granted by a voting public. Generating greater understanding and support of science in the general population will lead to benefits for both groups.
Students need to experience how knowledge is generated and need to have opportunities to interact with the research community. Watershed studies are very popular in schools at this time - an ongoing interactive website for the different TEA field studies could help students get involved in research that is interesting to them.
Thank you for the opportunity to parcticipate in this wonderful program.
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