Research Stations in Antarctica: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kristin Pia Hayman

Kristin taught for over 10 years in the elementary classroom. She holds a B.A. in Journalism as well as a Master's Degree in Elementary Education.

Antarctica is a cold and icy continent at the bottom of the world; however, many scientists and other people choose to live and work there in research stations. This lesson will explore how and why they do it.

Research Stations in Antarctica

What if I told you that there was a job that was extremely difficult, but would allow you to see some of the most amazing parts of the planet? Would you want the job? Many people have said yes to this question and packed their bags to head to the coldest place on Earth. Welcome to Antarctica!

Antarctica is the southernmost of the seven continents. It is cold all year round, and the conditions are harsh, which means very difficult and rough.

Antarctica is overseen by many countries that send scientists and researchers to study everything from weather, to penguins and marine life, to icebergs and glaciers. Technically, the continent has a permanent population of zero, although thousands of people travel there each year.

People also go to Antarctica to work as chefs, doctors, bus drivers, or mechanics. These professionals help the research stations run smoothly.

Many researchers come to Antarctica to work.

Life In A Research Station

The places where people live in Antarctica are called research stations. Living in a research station can be similar to living at home. People mostly eat the same foods, hang out with friends, play games, and exercise. They even grow their own vegetables and fruits using hydroponics, which is a method of growing plants without using any soil.

Access and Entertainment

Over the winter months, most stations are physically cut off from the outside world because conditions are too difficult for airplanes and boats. Once, a doctor working at the South Pole station had to perform major surgery on herself!

People living there have to find ways to entertain themselves. This can be quite hard if you are living in tight quarters with the same people for many months. In a station, people usually have their own rooms; there are also public areas to eat, watch television, and talk. Some people even choose to brave the cold for fun to go on a hike or ski in the beautiful landscapes.

A Russian research station in Antarctica

Temperatures and Clothing

Temperatures in Antarctica rarely get over 0 degrees. In the winter, there are weeks where the sun doesn't rise at all! Layers of clothing must be worn at all times, especially when leaving the base. People working in the stations are usually comfortable inside, but some people work in the field, which means they are outside for a long period of time.

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