Our vision is to create the conditions for curiosity to thrive by facilitating integrated Polar STEAM programs that embody inclusivity and authentic collaboration. Polar STEAM consists of three integrated programs that are part of this larger effort:
Soil sample
© Melissa Barker, Soil sampling in the Arctic

Polar Educators

The Polar Educators program facilitates virtual and field deployments to the Arctic and Antarctic for both formal and informal educators in the United States. The program aims to inspire transdisciplinary education about science in the polar regions, integrating art-based and science-based methods to promote critical thinking, engagement, and accessible & inclusive opportunities for learners.  

The program works with faculty from community colleges and Minority Serving Institutions, middle and high school educators, as well as informal educators who can incorporate polar science education into their work.  Polar STEAM will foster an integrated approach to science communication with cohorts of participants who engage learners in exploring and understanding critical polar environments and human endeavors at the poles. 

Check the FAQ page to learn more and the Apply Now page for current information.  Register to receive updates about applying for Polar STEAM.

Sarah Airriess inside the historic hut at Cape Evans, Antarctica
© Elaine Hood, 2019, Most recent Antarctic Artist & Writer Sarah Airriess making observations and sketches inside Robert Falcon Scott’s historic hut preserved at Cape Evans, Antarctica

Antarctic Artists and Writers

The Antarctic Artists and Writers program facilitates deployments to the Antarctic for creative practitioners within the arts and humanities.  Collaborations between polar researchers and artists & writers help increase the public’s understanding of and appreciation for human and scientific endeavors in Antarctica through the resulting works.

Examples of previous creative work and collaborations can be enjoyed in the online exhibition Adequate Earth produced by the Antarctic Artists and Writers Collective.  This grass-roots collective is run independently from the Polar STEAM program and is shared here as an example of previous work accomplishments by Antarctic Artists and Writers.  A complete list of all past participants can be found on the NSF website.

Check the FAQ page to learn more and the Apply Now page for current information.  Register to receive updates about applying for Polar STEAM.

Polar research vessel at night among pack ice
© Dr. Kim Bernard, Polar research vessel among the pack ice in the Southern Ocean

Polar Researchers

Polar STEAM works with NSF-funded polar researchers seeking to elevate the broader impacts of their research through education and the arts.  Working in collaboration with educators, artists, and writers, researchers will help increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of human and scientific endeavors in polar regions. Whether researchers are field or lab-based, virtual or field-based collaborations with Polar STEAM will open up new opportunities to broaden the impact of polar research. 

 Polar STEAM seeks to broaden participation and elevate voices historically underrepresented in polar sciences.  Polar STEAM welcomes researchers across a wide spectrum of research disciplines from social sciences to the physical sciences and mathematics.

Researcher applications are accepted for current and future research proposals. Check the FAQ page to learn more and the Apply Now page for current information.  Register to receive updates about future opportunities.

Watch: Researcher Program Overview