Can You Survive in the Antarctic?

Instructional Module #8



  PROJECT EXPLORE INSTRUCTIONAL MODULE #8

  FOCUS QUESTION:
  CAN YOU SURVIVE IN THE ANTARCTIC?
............................................................................

  Kim Kovich
  Coon Rapids Jr. High
  Coon Rapids, Minnesota

  BACKGROUND INFORMATION

  ANTARCTIC WEATHER


Weather conditions in Antarctica are the harshest in the world.  Vostok,
Antarctica is where the world's lowest temperature (-129 degrees F.) was
recorded.  Winds on Antarctica have been recorded up to 200 miles an hour.
Imagine the wind chills under these conditions.  While you might think it
snows a great deal in Antarctica this is not true.  Average precipitation
at the South Pole is equal to about one inch of water a year.  Along the
coast it is equal to 20 inches of water a year.  The snow that does fall,
however, is always being blown around by the high winds.  The harsh
conditions make survival on this continent a constant struggle.

During the Antarctic summer, conditions moderate from the ones described
above.  Traveling primarily during the Antarctic summer, the
Trans-Antarctica Expedition expects temperatures in the -40 to -50 degrees
F. range with wind speeds of 30 to 50 miles per hour.  The resulting wind
chills will average around -100 degrees F.


  ANTARCTIC SURVIVAL

The Antarctic is rich in stories of individuals who survived and those who
died in expeditions designed to reach the South Pole.  In 1909, Ernest
Shackelton's team got within 100 miles of the South Pole before turning
back.  While not reaching their destination, Shackelton's team did survive.
Despite the weather conditions described in Antarctic Weather and fighting
frostbite, snow blindness, and dysentery, Shackleton's expedition covered
over 1,700 miles (Trans-Antarctica 1990 will cover 4,000 miles).  On
January 7, 1909, Ernest Shackelton wrote this to describe the experience:
"A blinding, shrieking blizzard all day, with the temperature ranging from
-60 to -70 degrees F."  While this statement was written in 1909, the
Trans-Antarctica Expedition has run into similar conditions which have kept
the team members confined to their tents for days on end.

The first man to reach the South Pole, Roald Amundsen, set out on October
8, 1911.  He used sleds and dog teams much like the Trans-Antarctica
Expedition.  He reached the South Pole on December 14, 1911, on what turned
out to be a relatively easy round trip.

Amundsen's rival, Robert Scott, set out for the South Pole on November 1,
1911.  Instead of using dogs, Scott used ponies.  Early in the trip Scott's
ponies died, forcing the members of the expedition to pull their own sleds.
The team reached the South Pole on January 18, 1912 only to find Amundsen's
flag.  Low on food and exhausted, Scott's team tried to returned home.  The
trip back from the South Pole is a harrowing tale.  As the seasons headed
toward winter, Scott ran into terrible blizzards.  While starvation and
frostbite took its toll, winter set in.  Scott wrote, "Amputation is the
least I can hope for" and, "We shall stick it out until the end but we are
getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far." Scott and his
companions were found eight months later frozen to death.


  TRANS-ANTARCTICA SURVIVAL PLANS

Everyone has basic needs which must be met if one is to survive.  These are
shelter from the elements, clothing, food, and water.

In the Antarctic, most of the food people eat goes directly to generating
heat.  For example, even when a person feels comfortably warm, they are
using over half their total caloric intake just to maintain their body
temperature.  The colder it gets outside the body, the more food people
need.  Humans are so ill equipped for intense cold that they soon reach a
state where they cannot stay warm no matter how much they eat.  Stripped
naked at 32 degrees, humans die of lowered core temperature in as little as
20 minutes.  Traveling in the Antarctic requires that humans eat high
energy or calorie-rich food and wear specially insulated clothing.

To provide shelter from the elements, the Expedition will use a tent called
the "Himalayan Hotel."  The Himalayan Hotel is especially designed for
Arctic climates.  Sleeping bags used by Expedition team members
incorporate a double system of waterproof, breathable liners and an
insulated outer shell.

The clothing for the Trans-Antarctica Expedition is made from new fabrics
that trap heat, but let perspiration evaporate.  The clothing system is
layer by layer.  The first layer is thermal underwear.  The second is a
jacket and pants.  The third is an easily removable shell determined by the
activity the men are doing.  The last layer is parkas and more pants.  The
men also wear specially designed ski boots or moosehide mukluks on their
feet and warm protective gloves or mittens on their hands.

All Antarctic explorers are faced with the task of eating enough of the
right foods to fuel themselves.  The team's diet will provide about 6,000
calories per day (calories provide energy).  The average American male eats
about 2,300 calories per day.  The Expedition's water, which is just as
important as food, is obtained by melting snow.


  HYPOTHERMIA:  THE COLD WEATHER KILLER

A constant threat to the Antarctic explorer is hypothermia -- an abnormally
low body temperature (typically 93 degrees F. and under). If the drop in
body temperature continues unchecked, this leads to death.  Even a two or
three degree drop in body temperature can be a serious because the first
effect of hypothermia is a progressive inability to think clearly.
Hypothermia is the most common cause of death in any cold weather survival
situation. In fact hypothermia is not only common in exotic places like the
Antarctic, but is real threat to anyone caught in a winter snowstorm.  A
person can even become seriously hypothermic without recognizing the
problem early enough to take effective action.  This is why prevention of
hypothermia is so important.

The human body is remarkable at maintaining a constant body temperature.
Food is the fuel that supplies the energy needed to perform required
functions.  Even at rest, the body, when properly fueled, generates heat,
and during active exertion heat output may increase five to ten times.  The
human body can lose heat in many ways: by radiation, conduction,
convection, evaporation, or respiration and conditions such as wind,
moisture, and cold promote heat loss.  Proper shelter eliminates or at
least reduces the effects of wind and moisture.  Clothing does not provide
heat; it preserves the heat generated by the body.


  HYPOTHERMIA FACTS

  CAUSES:

The greatest single factor is improper preparation.  Cold, wind and wet
conditions chill the body so that it loses heat faster than it produces it.


  OCCURRENCES:

Hypothermia can occur anywhere that the environmental temperature is low
enough to reduce the inner-core temperature of the body to the danger
level.  Most hypothermia accidents occur in outdoor temperatures between
30 degrees and 50 degrees F. (-1 degree and 10 degrees C.)


  SYMPTOMS:

Fortunately, highly visible symptoms are associated with the initial stages
of hypothermia.  The onset and advance stages are marked by recognizable
warning signs such as:

1-A person feels cold and has to exercise to get warm.

2-The person starts to shiver and feel numb.

3-Shivering becomes more intense and uncontrollable, eventually involving
the entire body.

4-Shivering becomes violent.  There is difficulty in speaking.  Thinking
becomes sluggish and the mind starts to wander.

5-Shivering decreases and muscles become tight.  Trembling may occur on one
side of the body or in one arm or leg, but there is no shivering.  Muscle
coordination becomes difficult and movements become erratic.  However, the
victim may still be able to maintain an appearance which suggests that they
know where they are and what is going on.

6-The victim becomes irrational and drifts into a stupor.  Pulse and
respiration rates are noticeably slowed.

7-Victim becomes unconscious and does not respond to sounds.  Most reflexes
cease to function and heartbeat becomes erratic.

8-Heart stops beating.

9-Heart and respiration centers of the brain cease functioning.


  TREATMENT:

A person who is alert to the potential danger of hypothermia can provide
self-help during stages one through three.  But once the conditions have
advanced to stage four, (when the person's mind starts to wander),
assistance is required.  At this point, people often deny they are in
trouble.  Pay attention to the visible symptoms not what the potential
victim believes the situation to be.  When a potential victim is at stage
four treatment must be immediate.


  TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:

1-Get the victim out of the cold, wind, and rain.

2-Remove all wet clothes and put on warm ones.

3-If the person is mildly impaired, i.e., can still move, have the victim
exercise.  It is important that the core temperature be elevated quickly.

4-If the victim if semiconscious or worse:

  a-Try to keep the victim awake and force warm fluids;

  b-Keep the victim from getting any colder and send someone for help.


  PREVENTION:

Dress appropriately.  Just follows the letters C-O-L-D:

1- C - keep your clothes CLEAN.

2- O - avoid OVERHEATING (sweating).

3- L - wear your clothes LAYERED and LOOSE.

4- D - keep your clothing DRY.  Wool clothing repels wetness.  Dress in
layers of clothing, so some outerwear can be removed in correspondence with
the activity level.  An uncovered head can account for up to 60 percent of
body heat loss.  Carry a good wool cap.


  OBJECTIVES:


  CONTENT OBJECTIVES:

1-The student will be able to describe the weather conditions found in
Antarctic.

2-The student will be able to make comparisons between the weather in
Antarctic and where they live.

3-The student will be able to describe what weather factors are most
dangerous to humans.

4-The student will be able to list the warning signs of a person with
hypothermia.

5-The student will be able to describe treatments for hypothermia.

6-The student will be able to list the options and pick the right choices
in a winter survival situation.

7-The student will be able to describe the survival situation some
Antarctic explorers have found themselves in.

8-The student will be able to explain the reasons for the food and survival
supplies being used on the Trans-Antarctica Expedition.


  PROCESS OBJECTIVES:

1-The student will be able to express an understanding of potential winter
survival situations.

2-The student will be able to give options and make correct choices when
given a winter survival situation.


  MATERIALS LIST:


  CONCEPT INVENTION ACTIVITY #1:

Pencil, copies of the handouts: "What is it like in Antarctica?",
"Antarctic Explorers", "Trans-Antarctica Survival Plans", "Hypothermia: The
Cold Weather Killer."


  APPLICATION ACTIVITY 1:

Ice cubes, cloth or coverings, rulers or balances or scales, copies of
activity sheet "Coat for an Ice Cube."


  APPLICATION ACTIVITY 2:

Ice, thermometers, containers for holding ice water, water, access to
outdoors during cold weather, graph paper, clock or stop watches, copies of
activity sheet "Is Staying Dry Important in Winter Survival?."


  APPLICATION ACTIVITY 3:

Copies of activity sheet "Winter Survival Car Kit", refer to materials list
for Application Activity 2.


  EXPLORATION/PRIOR KNOWLEDGE ASSESSMENT

This is an activity designed to stimulate student interest in the topic and
provide an indication of students' prior knowledge of the topic.  The
information is important for determining the starting point and the level
of difficulty for instruction.

1-Give the students a situation in which they are stranded in a winter
storm.  Then ask them what they would do. Possibly give them some choices.
All this is found in Activity #1.

2-Ask the students to describe what the weather conditions in the Antarctic
might be like.

3-Ask the students to describe what the conditions are like in a winter
snowstorm.

4-Ask the students to describe what the affects of cold are on a human
body.

5-Ask the students what they need to do to stay warm in the winter.  Ask
for more than one answer.


  CONCEPT INVENTION ACTIVITIES

Here are two suggested ways to present the background materials for this
module.

1-Complete Concept Invention Activity #1.  Photocopy the handouts "What Is
It Like in Antarctica?", "Antarctic Explorers", "Trans-Antarctica Survival
Plans", and "Hypothermia: The Cold Weather Killer".   The handouts will
serve as reference material for students completing this activity.


  CONCEPT INVENTION ACTIVITY HANDOUT

  WHAT IS IT LIKE IN ANTARCTICA?

Antarctica is the coldest place on earth.  It's also the windiest, and it's
also a desert.  Here are some weather facts:

Low temperature: -129 degrees F.

Average summer temperature: -50 degrees F. to 20 degrees F.

Average wind speed: 20mph

Highest winds: 200mph

Precipitation: 2 inches or less, always falls as snow

Summer wind chills: -100 degrees F. or lower



Minnesota also has cold temperatures in the winter.  Here are some
Minnesota weather facts:

-Low temperature: -41 degrees F.

-Precipitation:  27 inches of rain per year, some of which falls as  snow
from November to March.

People are most active in Antarctica in the summer.  Remember, the Antarctic
summer goes on at the same time as our winter (December - March).  The
Trans-Antarctica Expedition is crossing Antarctica during the Antarctic
spring and summer.  This is the time when most Antarctic exploration is
done.


  CONCEPT INVENTION ACTIVITY HANDOUT


  ANTARCTIC EXPLORERS?

The most famous Antarctic explorers lived about 80 years ago.  The best
known explorers were the ones who raced to be the first to reach the South
Pole.

The first man to reach the South Pole, Roald Amundsen, set out on October
8, 1911.  He used sleds and dog teams much like the Trans-Antarctica
Expedition.  He reached the Pole on December 14, 1911, on what turned out
to be a relatively easy round trip.

Amundsen's rival, Robert Scott, set out for the South Pole on November 1,
1911.  Instead of using dogs, Scott used ponies.  Just a short distance
into the trip, Scott's animals died and the men had to pull their own
sleds.  Pulling the sleds took a terrible toll on the men.  They reached
the South Pole on January 18, 1912 only to find Amundsen's flag already
there. Short of food and exhausted, Scott's trip back from the South Pole
is a harrowing tale.  As the seasons headed toward winter, Scott ran into
t-errible blizzards.  With starvation and frostbite taking its toll, winter
set in.  Scott wrote, "Amputation is the least I can hope for" and, "We
shall stick it out until the end but we are getting weaker, of course, and
the end cannot be far."  Scott and his companions were found eight months
later frozen to death.

This year the six men making the Trans-Antarctica trip are using sleds and
dogs just like the first man to reach the South Pole, Roald Amundsen.  They
started their trip in August and expect to be done by March (This is the
Antarctic spring and summer.)  The Trans-Antarctica Expedition will mark
the first time men have crossed Antarctica the long way.


  CONCEPT INVENTION ACTIVITY HANDOUT


  TRANS-ANTARCTICA SURVIVAL PLANS

Everyone has basic needs which must be met if one is to survive.  These are
shelter from the elements, clothing, food, and water.

In the Antarctic, most of the food people eat goes directly to generating
heat.  For example, even when a person feels comfortably warm, they are
using over half their total caloric intake just to maintain their body
temperature.  The colder it gets outside the body, the more food people
need.  Humans are so ill equipped for intense cold that they soon reach a
state where they cannot stay warm no matter how much they eat.  So to
travel to the Antarctic, humans need special high energy or calorie-rich
food and special insulated clothing.  Some of the food taken on the trip
includes dried potatoes, oatmeal, popcorn, salmon, sardines, wild rice,
pasta, cheese, dried milk, sunflower seeds, and tea.  The Expedition's
water is obtained by melting snow.

For shelter, the Trans-Antarctica Expedition is carrying along tents called
"Himalayan Hotels" which are specially designed for Arctic climates. Their
sleeping bags incorporate a double system of waterproof breathable liners
and an insulated outer shell.

The clothing for the Trans-Antarctica Expedition is specially designed with
astonishing new fabrics which trap heat but let perspiration evaporate.  The
clothing system is layer by layer.  The first layer is thermal underwear.
The second is a jacket and pants.  The third is an easily removable shell
determined by the activity the men are doing.  The last layer is parkas and
more pants.  The men also wear specially designed ski boots or moosehide
mukluks on their feet and warm protective gloves or mittens on their hands.


  CONCEPT INVENTION ACTIVITY HANDOUT

  HYPOTHERMIA:  THE COLD WEATHER KILLER

Many of us lack the knowledge required for survival in a cold environment.
Just think about winter car travel!  We ride in a heated box in almost any
weather, convinced that jeans, lightweight shoes, a coat, and gloves are
enough even on a cold winter day.

Occasionally, for some, the experience of a car trip in a winter storm
becomes a terrifying experience.  Searchers spend hours looking for those
who get lost or stuck in the snow and cold.   Most searches are successful,
but for a few, the experience of being trapped in blizzard conditions
results in severe frostbite, and in some cases, death.

The principal cause of death is hypothermia.  Hypothermia is an abnormally
low body temperature (typically 93F.) and under.  If allowed to continue
unchecked, this temperature drop leads to death.  Even a drop of two to
three degrees in temperature can be serious because one of the first
effects of hypothermia is a progressive inability to think clearly.  In
fact, a person can become seriously hypothermic without recognizing the
problem early enough to take effective action.  This is why prevention of
hypothermia is so important.

The human body is remarkable at maintaining a constant body temperature.
Food is the fuel that supplies the energy needed to perform required
functions.  The human body can lose heat in many ways.  Conditions such as
wind, moisture, and cold promote heat loss.  Proper shelter eliminates or
at least reduces the effects of wind and moisture.  Clothing does not
provide heat; it preserves the heat generated by the body.

Hypothermia can be prevented through proper food and liquids, proper
clothing, and proper shelter.  The greatest cause of hypothermia is improper
planning, i.e., 1) too much exercise, 2) improper clothing and hydration, or
3) an irresponsible attitude.  Cold, wet conditions and wind chill the body
so that it loses heat faster than it produces it.  Hypothermia can happen
anytime the inner body temperature falls to the danger level.  Most
hypothermia occurs at temperatures between 30 and 50 degrees F.


  SYMPTOMS:

Fortunately, the initial stages of hypothermia are noticeable by early
visible symptoms.  The onset and advance is marked by recognizable stages
or steps.  The warning signs which precede a hypothermia accident are:

1-A person feels cold and has to exercise to get warm.

2-The person starts to shiver and feel numb.

3-Shivering becomes more intense and uncontrollable, eventually involving
the entire body.

4-Shivering becomes violent.  There is difficulty in speaking.  Thinking
becomes sluggish and the mind starts to wander.

5-Shivering decreases and muscles become tight.  Trembling may occur on one
side of the body or in one arm or leg but there is no shivering.  Muscle
coordination becomes difficult and movements become erratic.  However, the
victim may still be able to maintain an appearance which suggests that they
knows where they are and what is going on.

6-The victim becomes irrational and drifts into a stupor.  Pulse and
respiration rates are noticeably slowed.

7-Victim becomes unconscious and does not respond to sounds.  Most reflexes
cease to function and heartbeat becomes erratic.

8-Heart stops beating.

9-Heart and respiration centers of the brain cease functioning.

If you or a person with you is experiencing hypothermia, what do you do? A
person who is alert to the potential danger of hypothermia can provide
self-help during stages one through three.  But once the conditions have
advanced to stage four, (when the person's mind starts to wander),
assistance is required.  At this point, people often deny they are in
trouble.  Believe the symptoms, not the victim.  Treatment must be
immediate:

1-Get the victim out of the cold, wind, and rain.

2-Remove all wet clothes and put warm on warm ones.

3-If the person is mildly impaired, i.e., can still move, have the victim
exercise.  It is important that the core temperature be elevated as quickly
as possible.

4-If the victim if semiconscious or worse:

  a-Try to keep the victim awake and force warm fluids;

  b-Keep the victim from getting any colder and send someone for help.


  PREVENTION:

Dress appropriately.  Just follows the letters C-O-L-D:

1- C - keep your clothes CLEAN.

2- O - avoid OVERHEATING (sweating).

3- L - wear your clothes LAYERED and LOOSE.

4- D - keep your clothing DRY.  Wool clothing repels wetness.  Dress in
layers of clothing, so some outerwear can be removed in correspondence with
the activity level.  An uncovered head can account for up to 60 percent of
body heat loss.  Carry a good wool cap.  Remember the saying: "When your
feet are cold, put on your hat."


  CONCEPT INVENTION ACTIVITY #1:

  MINNESOTA WINTER - COULD YOU SURVIVE IT?

  PURPOSE:

If you are stranded in a winter blizzard, could you survive?  What would
you do?  What are your choices?  This activity will help you think about
trying to survive in a cold winter climate like the one the
Trans-Antarctica Expedition is experiencing.


  MATERIALS:

Pencil, handouts


  PROCEDURE:

The setting...winter.  Nighttime.  In Minnesota.  It's minus 20 degrees and
40 knots of wind.  You are in a four-door car on an ice-spotted highway.
Quite suddenly a blizzard strikes -- blinding and raging.  The weather
isn't playing games!

Your car hits a patch of ice and slides into the ditch, stuck in three feet
of snow.  There are pictures in your mind of Peary, Scott, and Amundsen,
and stories of incredible endurance.  You have to make some choices.  The
choices you make might mean the difference between survival and death (see
the scorecard below).

First of all, would you rather be alone or with someone?  Three people
rather than two?  Four rather than three?  Choose the number you'd most
prefer.  How many said you'd rather be alone?  Two in the car?  Three?
Four?  Five?  More than five?  Remember the choices you made.

-How many would try to drive the car out of the ditch?

-How hard would you try to drive the car out of the ditch?

-How many would elect to stay stuck?

-If you chose to have several in the car, would you ask them (or some of
them) to get out and push?

-Who would do that?  Who would not?

-What would you rather have in your trunk, a shovel or a sleeping bag?

-How many for the shovel?

-How many for the sleeping bag?

-How would you get the sleeping bag out of the trunk?

-How many of you would try to walk or send help to the nearest heated
building?

-How many would keep everyone in the car?

-How many of you would shut off the engine right away?

-How many would keep it running?

-Suppose you had a candle and a book of matches in the glove compartment.
Would the candle be better to keep you warm than the car heater?

-Who's for the car heater?

-Which would you rather have to consume?

-A roll of salami and crackers, a quart of whipped honey, or a fifth of
whiskey?

-If there is more than one of you in the car, how would you group
yourselves?

-In the front and back seat?

-All in the back?

-What would you do with the sleeping bag?

-Suppose the blizzard lasts 30 hours?

-The gas runs out, the candle burns out, the food or liquid is consumed.
You're cold and exhausted.  Would you sleep or try to keep moving in the
car?


  FILL OUT THE SCORE SHEET


Before leaving...

How many people would you ask to come along?

In the car, would you rather put:

  -A sleeping bag?

  -A shovel?

  -A bag of sand?

In your glove compartment, would you most want:

  -A box of crackers and a roll of salami?

  -A pint jar of whipped honey and can of pop?

  -A fifth of whiskey?

Finding yourself in a ditch in a three-foot snow drift, would you:

(YES/NO)

  -Ask someone to push and drive out.

  -Try to dig out with a shovel.

  -Keep the car running.

  -Bring the sleeping bag from the trunk.

  -Try to flag down a car with a flashlight.

  -Light the candle.

  -Send someone for help or go yourself.

  -Have all stay in the car?

If you are still in the ditch after six hours, would you rather have (rank
in order of preference, 1-3):

  -The salami and crackers.

  -The jar of whipped honey and can of pop.

  -The fifth of whiskey

If you are still in the car after twelve hours, would you:

  -All huddle together and try to go to sleep.

  -Try to do something to keep awake?


  FILL OUT THE CONSEQUENCES SHEET


                                               This will be      Best Choice
                           Some results of     G = Good          is (    )
  Decision                 this decision are   B = Bad           because:


 PEOPLE

  Alone

  Others



 TRUNK

  Sleeping bag

  Shovel

  Bag of sand


 GLOVE COMPARTMENT

  Crackers & salami

  Honey & pop

  Whiskey


 STUCK

  Push

  Dig
  Keep motor running

  Sleeping bag
   from trunk

  Flag a car with
   a flashlight

  Light a candle

  Go for help

  Stay in car


  CONCLUSION:

Get into groups of four and arrive at a consensus for the score sheet.
Prepare to defend your group's answers.


  APPLICATION ACTIVITIES:

Select one or more of the following activities to provide students with
practice applying their new knowledge.


  APPLICATION ACTIVITY #1:

  COAT FOR AN ICE CUBE

  PURPOSE:

You are to find out what type of clothing material is best at keeping heat
in (or in this lab's case, cold in).  Finding the best materials to help
keep the heat in your body is important if you were trying to cross
Antarctica or trying to survive a Minnesota winter.


  MATERIALS:

Ice cubes
Different types of cloth or coverings
Rules
Balances or weight scale


  PROCEDURE:

1-Find the volume of the ice cube using a ruler.  Do this by measuring the
length, height, and width and multiplying them together.  (OR) Use a
balance or weight scale to find the weight of the ice cube.

2-Wrap the ice cube in your cloth or covering material.

3-Now let the cloth and ice cube sit out at room temperature for half an
hour.

4-After the half hour, take the ice cube out of its wrap and find its
volume or weight just like you did in #1 above.

5-Calculate the percentage of the ice cube left by dividing the melted
down volume or weight by the starting volume or weight.

6-Find the percentage answers from other people to see whose material is
better at keeping in the cold.


  Data Tables:

  Weight or Volume              Weight or Volume
  Starting                      Half Hour Later
  ______________________________________________
                       |
                       |
                       |
                       |
                       |
                       |
                       |
                       |


  Calculation:

  -----------------  Divided by  ----------------   =  ------------------
  Weight or volume/              weight or volume/       percentage of
  half hour                      starting                ice cube left


  Cloth or Wrapping         Percentage of           Rank of Best
  (Coat)                    Ice Cube Left           Coat to Worst
  _______________________________________________________________

  My
  Coat


  CONCLUSION:

Who in class had the coat with the highest percentage of ice cube left after
half an hour?  What was their coat made of?  If you were going outside on
the coldest winter day what would you want your coat to be made of?  What
wouldn't you want it made of?  Why do you think the coat with the highest
percentage of ice left was so good?


  APPLICATION ACTIVITY #2:

  IS STAYING DRY IMPORTANT IN WINTER SURVIVAL?


  PURPOSE:

You will find out by doing an experiment whether or not it's important to
stay dry if you find yourself in a winter survival situation.  Also, is it
important for the members of the Trans-Antarctica Expedition to stay dry in
order to survive?


  MATERIALS:

Pencil, graph paper, thermometer, ice, large container for ice water.


  PROCEDURE:

1-Measure the air temperature outside the school.  Write this temperature
down in the data table.

2-Measure the ice water temperature.  Write this temperature down in the
data table.

3-Have a volunteer take the thermometer, clench it in their fingertips and
stand outside in the cold air.

4-As soon as they step outside, record the temperature and put it in the
data table under the column "skin temp" in air.  Then record the
temperature every 30 seconds for the next four minutes. Put this
information into the data table in the same column.

5-Subtract the temperature readings from the "skin temp" in air column from
the temperature of the air.  Place this information in the data table under
the column "difference from air temp."

6-Have a volunteer take the thermometer, clench it in their fingertips and
submerge it into the ice water.

7-As soon as they put their hand into the ice water, record the temperature
and put it in the data table under the column "skin temp" in water.  Then
record the temperature every 30 seconds for the next four minutes.  Put
this information into the data table in the same column.

8-Subtract the temperature readings from the "skin temp" in water column
from the temperature of the water.  Place this information in the data
table under the column, "difference from water temp."

9-Plot on the graph, as a line, the difference from air temperature number.

10-Plot on the graph, as a line, the difference from water temperature
numbers.


  Air Temperature   _________

  Water Temperature _________


                 IN AIR                        IN WATER

               Skin Temp   Difference     Skin temp.     Difference
                           from air                      from air

  Beginning
  Temp.

  30 Sec.

  60 Sec.

  90 Sec.

  120 Sec.

  150 Sec.

  180 Sec.

  210 Sec.

  240 Sec.


  HEAT LOSS FROM THE SKIN IN AIR AND WATER

On Graph Paper:

Plot vertically the Difference in Temperature (degrees C.) from 40 degrees
- 0 degrees. Plot horizontally the time in seconds from 0 - 240 seconds.
Use - 0 - for air, and - X - for water.


  CONCLUSION:

1-Is body heat lost faster when skin is exposed to air (dry) or water?

2-Is staying dry important in winter survival?

3-What are some ideas you have on how to keep dry in a snowy winter
survival situation?


  APPLICATION ACTIVITY #3:

  WINTER SURVIVAL CAR KIT

  PURPOSE:

You are to make a winter survival kit to put into your family car.  After
putting the kit together, you should have a good idea what's necessary to
survive a winter storm.


  MATERIALS:

See procedure below.


  PROCEDURE:

1-Pack the following items into a three pound coffee can with plastic
cover.  Punch three holes around the top edge so you can hang it from the
mirror with heat can or candle on dashboard beneath it.  Keep inside the
car.  The trunk may be jammed by collision or buried in a snowdrift.
Flashlight batteries may be frozen.  Warm them with your body- between your
legs or under arms.

-Work gloves/mittens, scarf, and stocking cap tied on outside of can with
string you'll use.

-Bright red or orange cloth for signal banner, face mask, first aid.

-Matches and candles (stubs of dinner candles).

-Can opener.

-Small, sharp knife (kitchen paring knife is OK).

-Safety pins.

-Facial tissues, kitchen towels, toilet paper, or paper towels.

-Quarter taped to cover for phone call.

-Canned solid fuel or fuel tablets.

-Aspirin.

-Spoons.

-Flashlight and spare batteries (small one is OK.  Reverse batteries in
case to avoid accidental switching or burnout).

-Compass.  (Even a toy one points north when you get away from metal.  You
are in bad trouble if you really need this, so think twice before you leave
the shelter of the vehicle.)

-Water (tea, pop, bottled water).

-Food (any high calorie item you'd use on an outing):

        -meatball stew
        -honey (eat it cold)
        -semi-sweet chocolate
        -instant coffee, tea, soup
        -raisins in small packets
        -candy bars, chewing gum

2-Pack the following items outside the can somewhere in the car.
Extinguisher and first aid kit should always be in the passenger
compartment.  Transfer the other items for long trips or as soon as severe
weather threatens.

        -Sleeping bags
        -Fire extinguisher
        -Booster cables
        -Tow cable or chain, and know where it hooks to your vehicle
        -Granite poultry grit (or sand-salt mix) in one quart plastic or
         paper milk cartons to spread in front of slipping rear wheels.
        -Snowmobile suit
        -Snowmobile boots
        -Road flares
        -First aid kit
        -Shovel
        -Mittens


  CONCLUSION:

Go through the list of items in your winter survival car kit and explain
why they are in there.  Put the kit into your family car and hope you never
have to use it!


  EVALUATION:

  MULTIPLE CHOICE TEST

1-Besides cold and wind, what is the next most important cause of a
hypothermia death?

  -a. alcohol

  -b. tiredness

  -c. wetness

  -d. baldness

2-A person would lose body heat the fastest if he were:

  -a. wet, out of the wind and wearing a hat

  -b. wet, in the wind and not wearing a hat

  -c. dry, in the wind and wearing a hat

  -d. wet, out of the wind and not wearing a hat

3-Instead of wearing one heavy jacket, one should wear several:

  -a. types

  -b. colors

  -c. weaves

  -d. layers of light clothes

4-The first obvious symptom of hypothermia (exposure) is what?

  -a. speaking problems

  -b. stumbling

  -c. shivering

  -d. muscles becoming rigid

5-Who was the first man to reach the South Pole?

  -a. Scott

  -b. Amundsen

  -c. Steger

  -d. Peary

6-Which Antarctic explorer died on his way back from the South Pole?

  -a. Scott

  -b. Amundsen

  -c. Steger

  -d. Peary

7-What is the Trans-Antarctica Expedition using to get across Antarctica?

  -a. snowmobiles

  -b. ponies

  -c. dogs

  -d. snowshoes


  TRUE OR FALSE

1-Tight-fitting clothes are warmer than loose fitting clothes.


  ESSAY TEST

1-If put in a winter survival situation, what do you need to consider?
What are the hazards to watch out for?

2-What should you put into a Winter Survival Kit?


Patricia A. Weeg
pweeg@shore.intercom.net
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