Print Issues of Beyond Penguins Are Half Price on Black Friday

Readers of the online issues of Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears can now access the content in different formats. For example, you can have highlights of issues mailed to you as a full-color, print magazine, or you can download the highlights version on your iPad. The print and electronic versions are generously illustrated with photographs and contain many of the articles from the original online production. We are using MagCloud — a print-on-demand service from Hewlett-Packard that in addition to the print-on-demand service has an iPad application that allows you to download issues from MagCloud onto an iPad for free.

For the print version, you pay printing (20 cents/page) and mailing costs – issues are from $4.80 to $7.20 to print and ship depending on the page count. However, on Black Friday you can save 50% during MagCloud’s Red Friday Mega Sale! From midnight until 12 pm (PST) on Friday November 26th MagCloud will be slashing the production costs on all full-priced magazines by 50%. And don’t worry if the turkey-hangover causes you to miss the mega sale, you can still take advantage of MagCloud’s 25% Off Holiday Sale from 12 pm November 26th through December 31st. You can browse all the Beyond Penguins Highlights on MagCloud at

Great Science Content for the iPad

We have been uploading content from MSP2 Connecting News to the National Science Education Standards blog and the Beyond Penguins: Integrating Science and Literacy for K-5 Teachers online magazine into MagCloud – a print on demand service from Hewlett-Packard. They now have a new iPad app that allows folks to download issues from MagCloud onto their iPads for free.

iPad app download:
Browse MSP2 and Beyond Penguins content:

Follow Adelie Penguin Chicks with the Penguin Science Program

Would you like to incorporate more real data into your class? Are your students fascinated by penguins? Consider participating in the 2010-2011 Adelie Penguin breeding season program, as described below by coordinator Jean Pennycook!


Dear Educators,

Welcome to the 2010-2011 Adelie Penguin breeding season. Follow along as Adelie Penguin families raise their chicks ( in the harshest environment on Earth.

Students keep a field journal based on daily photos from Antarctica during the breeding season starting Nov 7 – Jan 28. Other activities for your classroom include: receive a postcard from Antarctica (, design a flag to fly over the colony (, ask a researcher a question, discover how penguins are coping with global climate change, gallery of adaptation photos, field notes, and many other classroom ready activities. Have your class watch for the first penguins of the season to arrive at Cape Royds, and let us know when you see them. Our Penguin cam takes a picture of the colony at Cape Royds every day. Go to our home page: and click on the webcam.

Questions? Email me at

Jean Pennycook
Penguin Outreach Coordinator

Meet Juanita Constible: An Antarctic Scientist

Juanita Constible spent her holidays in an unusual way – traveling to the coldest, windiest, driest, and highest place on Earth! She’s on a scientific expedition with four other scientists from Miami University (OH) and Ohio State University, studying an unusual insect’s ability to survive cold temperatures.

Juanita Constible

We were lucky enough to interview Juanita about her trip!

BPPB: Tell us a bit about yourself.

JC: I am a technical analyst—sort of like a scientific advisor—with National Wildlife Federation’s coastal Louisiana program. I was trained as a wildlife ecologist and have studied a variety of animals across Canada and the U.S. I’ve been interested in science education since I was a graduate student, and enjoy sharing my love of nature and science with people of all ages.

BPPB: What is the purpose of your trip to Antarctica?

JC: I’m going to Antarctica with four other scientists to study the southernmost free-living insect in the world. This insect is called Belgica antarctica, but we call it Belgica for short because it doesn’t have a common name. In addition to helping the scientists, I will be sharing our experiences with K-12 students and teachers.

Belgica larvae on mud.

BPPB: How did you become interested in Belgica?

JC: I used to be the lab manager for the Laboratory of Ecophysiological Cryobiology at Miami University. The scientists in this lab study how animals like frogs, turtles, and flies survive extreme cold. Belgica was the most interesting study animal to me because it lives in Antarctica. Before I worked at Miami University, I had no idea there were insects, mites, ticks, or any other invertebrates in Antarctica.

Why is Belgica special? Why is your team studying it?

JC: Belgica is a tough little fly! It can survive freezing, the loss of over 70% of its body water, wide swings in pH, immersion in salt water, and long stretches with little to no oxygen. Over the next three years, the team will do field and laboratory studies to answer these questions:

Does Belgica typically survive the winter by freezing or dehydrating?

What role do proteins (specifically aquaporins and dehydrins) play in the winter survival of Belgica?

How does Belgica “know” when it’s time to get ready for winter?

BPPB: How did you get the chance to travel to Antarctica?

JC: Mostly luck, I think! Seriously, though, having science and education experience and a heck of a lot of enthusiasm helped.

BPPB: Tell us about the preparation for your trip.

JC: The most complicated part was the physical qualification process. Everyone spending part of a field season at a U.S. base in Antarctica has to meet minimum health requirements—which means lots of tests, lots of dental work, and lots of paperwork. The health requirements are for everyone’s safety, as it can be difficult, dangerous, and very expensive to get someone out of Antarctica quickly in the case of a medical emergency.

BPPB: Can we learn more about your trip? How can we follow along with your adventures?

JC: Absolutely! We have a blog (, a Facebook fan page (Miami University’s Antarctic Connection), and a website ( And I love answering questions. The best way to get in touch is through the comment section on our blog. That way, everybody gets to see the answers.

BPPB: How can teachers use this information in their classrooms?

JC: We’re going to touch on life science, physical science, history, math, and a bunch of other subjects, so there are connections to your entire curriculum. Consider using the materials as:

A daily reading warm up.

A hook for a science lesson on biological form and function, food webs, weather and climate, phase shifts of water, or another theme. Check out some of our polar lesson plans here:

Inspiration for a creative writing or journaling activity. For example, you could ask students to spend a few days writing blog entries about their home town from the perspective of a tourist.

A source of videos, sound clips, or photos for art projects or public speaking assignments.

A tool to encourage students to interact responsibly and safely with adults and their peers online.

Thanks to Juanita for answering our questions! Do you know of someone we should interview on the blog? Post a comment – we’d love to hear from you!

Global Warming and the Polar Regions Free Webinar

Join Jessica Fries-Gaither and Kim Lightle for a free webinar Tuesday, April 28, 2009 at 3:30pm EST as we discuss global warming and the polar regions. We’re going to highlight resources from the Middle School Portal 2: Math & Science Pathways project, Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears online magazine, and the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). The webinar is being sponsored by the National Middle School Association (NSMA).

We’ll discuss Earth’s energy budget and climate change, how the polar regions are defined, albedo, and regional temperature and sea ice changes. We’ll highlight the National Science Education Standards and misconceptions associated with these concepts, provide resources that will enhance your content knowledge, and recommend middle school science lessons and activities.

For registration information, go to the NMSA Upcoming Free Events page. The presentation will be archived and available one week after the presentation. The slides can be found at the SlideShare website under Global Warming and the Polar Regions. We also have a Diigo list of all the resources we talk about.

Hope you can join us!