Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears is the new online science magazine for K-5th grades focusing on polar issues wrought by global climate change. Developed by a host of contributors, including the Ohio State University with funding from the National Science Foundation (Research on Learning in Formal and Informal settings), the magazine will get much of its content from existing material in the National Science Digital Library. According to this article on NSDL’s website, the magazine will contain a multitude of resources, including online activities, images, text, and multimedia (podcasts, videos, “even a browseable Virtual Bookshelf” with children’s literature for classroom use).
The first issue is titled “A Sense of Place” and it’s already up for you to browse. In addition to the resources mentioned above, this issue offers quirky animations, links to web sites, printable and foldable book versions of its articles, and to top it off—a poetry lesson plan featuring work from students in Anchorage, Alaska.
Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears will be a valuable contribution to science education for Elementary students, something that has been lacking in the past. It will cover content across five departments: In the Field: Scientists at Work, Professional Learning, Science and Literacy, Across the Curriculum, and Polar News and Notes. The magazine is headed by a great team of contributors from various organizations, signifying change towards openness in the climate of education (perhaps a positive to counteract the negative in global climate change?). All content is offered under a Creative Commons License—CC BY-SA.