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Extreme Environments

The Frigid Poles

Extremely cold temperatures can be found at both poles of our planet. The North Pole, known as the Arctic, is home to Northern Canada, Russia, Iceland, Alaska and more. The South Pole, on the other hand, is uniquely considered Antarctica. There are many ways both poles are similar, like how they each experience full darkness during the day at certain times of the year. But the beauty and importance of Antarctica is unmatched. From penguins found nowhere else on Earth to magnificent blue whales, some believe Antarctica holds the frozen secrets of the world. Join us at the very bottom of the globe to discover a few!


what you’ll need



Ask About Today

Who or what from the past would you have wanted to be preserved in ice and why?

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Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.


60-75 minutes


Lands of Ice in a Warming World

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The animals of the frozen poles depend on the ice. But due to global climate change, it’s melting. Get a look at these beautiful but threatened environments in this 50-minute episode from Netflix's Our Planet series.


Antarctica: Hard as Ice

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Antarctica is our planet’s coldest, most extreme continent. Its coldest temperature ever recorded was a whopping -89.6 degrees Celsius! Though there has been life on Antarctica for millions of years, it was only first spotted by explorers in 1820, which means there is so much still to be learned about this fascinating place. Watch this video to learn why exploring it for the average person is limited and in some cases, forbidden.

Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. Click "Skip" as soon as you can.


Life Under the Ice

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It's hard to imagine that anything could live in the frozen depths of water below Antarctica's vast ice shelf, but that's exactly where some incredible species flourish. Jump into the cold with Drew Lohrer and his team of deep-diving scientists in this video from Great Big Story.


Shaping an Igloo

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Living in the harsh conditions of the arctic requires traditions and survival skills that are passed down from generations. Watch as this young Inuit boy learns how to make an igloo shelter with his father.


What It's Like to Live in Antarctica

Yes, it's very cold. But there's more to living in Antarctica than that. Take a look with PBS Nova.


30-45 minutes


How about a Marshmallow Igloo?

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You’ve learned so much today about the North and South Poles, so using delicious marshmallows, follow along to make your own (mostly) edible igloo! But don’t stop there. Get even more creative by using construction paper to add animals and more to the landscape.


10-15 minutes


Stay Back, Snow Ninjas!

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Ice fun is not over yet! Get into this wintery workout. You’ll run in place, duck and hit the floor, left kick/right kick and left punch/right punch your way into a cardio frenzy as you work to protect the gingerbread man from the snow ninjas. Follow the directions on the screen to know which move to do!

Pro tip: Have a cup of water on standby!