2021 Festival banner

Calling all teachers, educators and students of all ages! Learn about the amazing place of Antarctica and Thwaites Glacier through activities online beginning 1 December 2021. Ask your burning questions about Antarctica to our researchers, learn about our science and what it's like to work and live on the icy continent through video content, and build a model of Thwaites Glacier to see the glacier and ice shelf dynamics in action. 

Commemorating the signing of the Antarctic Treaty (December 1, 1959) when the world's nations agreed that Antarctica would remain wild and not belong to any one nation, we celebrate this day with a festival about Antarctica and its science.



Build Thwaites Glacier!

Glacier craft

Build a model of Thwaites Glacier with your family and friends. Submit a photo of your own Thwaites Glacier along with a suggestion on how to tackle climate change either on a personal, family, school, community, national or global level! Your ideas matter! Prizes will be awarded for a few of our participants so share your ideas and creations!

Take me to the craft activity!

Ask a Scientist!

Mt Murphy, photo: Greg Balco

What question would you like to ask an Antarctic scientist? Have you wondered...What it is like to visit and work in Antarctica? How did they get started in their career? What wildlife there is to see in Antarctica? What was their favorite experience? Here is your chance! Now until December 17th submit your question and one of our scientists will answer it!
Read the answered questions here!

Ask a Scientist!

Interact with the glacier!

Image of Thwaites Explorer

Explore Thwaites Glacier with Thwaites-Explorer online interactive site. Locate and read about the different science projects underway, and click straight on the data to see rates of ice loss, depth of cavities under the ice, the speed of ice flow and more!

Thwaites-Explorer website

Talks for students ages 5 to 10 and up

Dr. Kelly Hogan

Mapping deep channels under Thwaites Glacier

Kelly Hogan is a Marine Geophysicist with the British Antarctic Survey. Join her to learn how Thwaites Glacier is being melted by warm ocean waters that flow up to the glacier through deep channels in the seafloor now mapped by the THOR team. Find out how big they are and how much heat they carry!

(aimed at students aged 10+)

Margie Turrin

Grab your cameras and binoculars!

Margie Turrin is Director of Educational Field programs at Lamont-Doherty or Columbia University. Join her to explore what fascinating wildlife you can find in Antarctica.  Find out how many different animals live in and around Antarctica and what makes them so special.

(aimed at students aged 5+)

Athena Dinar

Extreme Antarctica - never eat yellow snow!

Athena Dinar is Deputy Head of Communications, British Antarctic Survey. In her trips to Antarctica she has learned what it is like to live and work in Antarctica, how cold is it and what do scientists do there. She can also answer why you eat lots of chocolate and how go to the toilet!

(aimed at students aged 5+)

Dr. Indrani Das

Antarctica, Sea Level and Animals: An Adventure with Science and Watercolor

Indrani Das is a Research Professor at Lamont-Doherty of Columbia University. She will take us on a virtual trip to Antarctica, describing Thwaites Glacier with a blend of science, stories and her own images. Bring your art supplies and join along as you paint your favorite Antarctic scene! (This video was produced for the Columbia Alumni Association's Columbia at Home series.)

(aimed at students aged 6+)

Dr. Rob Larter

Explore with Boaty McBoatface

Rob Larter is a Marine Geophysicist at British Antarctic Survey. Learn about the Sir David Attenborough research ship and the research it will conduct with its small underwater vehicle Boaty McBoatface.

(aimed at students aged 6+)

Dr. Ted Scambos

Antarctica in the palm of your hand

Ted Scambos is a Senior Research Scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. Learn how and when Antarctica got its ice sheet, the different types of snow and ice that exist there now, and how Africa, South America, Australia and Antarctica share a past!

(aimed at students aged 8+)

Talks for students ages 11 and up

Prof. Rob Bingham

Why study the polar regions and what lies under the ice?

Rob Binham is Head of the Global Change Research Institute, University of Edinburgh. Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica flows over mountains that stick out of the overlying ice. The GHOST science team will survey these mountains. Find out why this is so important to unlocking how rapidly the glacier might disappear.

(aimed at students aged 11+)

Dr. Julia Wellner

The footprint of past ice

Julia Wellner is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston. Discover what is being learned from the THOR project  about Antarctica's past from mapping the seafloor and collecting mud from the bottom of the ocean in front of Thwaites Glacier.

(aimed at students aged 12+)

Prof. Sridhar Anandakrishnan

Using explosives and radar in Antarctica

Sridhar Anandakrishnan is a professor in the Department of Geosciences at Penn State University. The GHOST team will use explosive technology to learn what the rock that Thwaites Glacier sits on is like. Find out what it's like to spend weeks working in the most amazing place on Earth.

(aimed at students aged 12+)

Dr. Erin Pettit

How to become a polar scientist

Erin Pettit is an Associate Professor at Oregon State University. Join her to find out how to work in polar science on cool projects like ITGC, by listening to this inspirational talk about Dr. Pettit's career path into working on the TARSAN project.

(aimed at students aged 12+)

Dr. Britney Schmidt

Robots in Antarctica

Britney Schmidt is an Associate Professor at Cornell University. Learn about how she and the MELT team deployed the Icefin robot, an underwater ROV/AUV, through a hole drilled in Thwaites Glacier using hot water to collect some incredible ice shelf data!

(aimed at students aged 12+)

Dr. Anna Crawford


Anna Crawford is a Postdoctoral Researcher at St. Andrews University, Scotland. Learn about the instability of Antarctica’s Thwaites glacier and what that might mean for the full ice sheet.  

(Aimed at students 12+)