How are penguins adapting to climate change?

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We don’t know yet, but Jean Pennycook is working in Antarctica to find out! She is a Californian scientist and teacher, living in a tent on Ross Island and researching how penguins are responding to climate and ecosystem changes. We are very excited at Hawkesdale P12 College today, to link up with Jean, through a discoverE virtual classroom. Students from prep to year 9 were able to ask questions via audio and text and Jean was able to talk about the slides on show and answer their questions. Students were surprised to find out that it takes about four days to travel to the camp, that it is daylight for 24 hours a day and that Antarctica is the fifth largest continent – bigger than North America and Mexico put together. They were very concerned that some male penguins abandoned their eggs when the female fails to return to the nest and wanted to know whether Jean could save them. Unfortunately, although she might be able to keep the eggs warm until they hatched, she would have no practical way of feeding the thousands of baby chicks! At the Penguin Science website you can find out more about the adelie penguins and see a penguin-cam movie, showing the daily movements of penguins across the changing sea-ice.

Thanks very much to Anne Mirtchin and Lorraine Leo for organising this Extraordinary Learning Eevent!


  1. Paul C

    I’ve scanned your recent posts and see a teacher who is excited about new technologies for student learning. Well documented with informative links.

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  3. murch

    Well written Britt. The students werent the only ones surprised by the many facts that Jean Pennycook related, I was, as well. Another fact that rather amazed me was that the world’s fifth largest volcano exists in Antarctica and did she say it goes off several times a day?

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