Arlington teacher gives students lesson from the South Pole

Her students are one reason she traveled so far. Washington-Lee High School teacher Kate Miller is one of a few people selected to study at the South Pole for about a month.

Thursday, she was able to connect with her home.

“It’s really, really confusing to experience 24 hours of sunlight,” said Miller through a Skype conversation with her students and others across the country.

It’s summer in Antartica. That means the temperature is up to about negative 15 degrees. Sure beats minus 100 during their winter.

Miller trained to wear protective gear that allows her to be outside and to live with the basics.

“We have a place to eat, we have a place to sleep, we have a place to hang out,” said Miller.

She and the other scientists know to be extra careful. There’s a doctor nearby, but the closest hospital is eight hours by plane, as ABC7 News learned when a medical evacuation last year became tricky.

“What did the project discover about neutrinos,” a student asked through the Skype interview.

Students got a chance to ask questions and then described for the rest of us why neutrinos are so interesting.

“They’re so fascinating because they’re so tiny that we normally can’t even identify them,” said senior Mia Shaker.

And they’re often submerged in ice; there’s plenty of that to go around at the South Pole.

Dr. Katey Shirey is taking over Ms. Miller’s classrooms while she’s gone. She also went on a similar mission seven years ago.

“With all of the experimentation being done, we could answer some of the scientific world’s greatest answers about where we come from and what will happen to us in the future,” said Dr. Shirey.

Just down the hall from Ms. Miller’s class, students have put up maps of where she’s been, as far south as you can travel, so others might stop and be inspired by her mission.

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