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New tool allows students to explore the Arctic virtually

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Arctic
This virtual learning technology will let students interact with the landscapes of the Arctic just as if they were there.

TUCSON (KVOA) - Students will have the opportunity to explore the Arctic virtually, thanks to a partnership that includes a University of Arizona researcher.

They will be able to see polar environments and learn about Permafrost using a new virtual reality teaching tool called Polar Explorer: A Virtual Learning Environment for Polar Science Education.

This project stems from the National Science Foundation, awarding $2 million to a team of researchers from various universities including the University of Arizona, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University and the University of Colorado Boulder.

Debbie Huntzinger is one of the researchers on the team developing the tool. She is excited about what this new virtual access means for students.

"The Arctic may feel like it's very far away place, and the changes that are occurring there may not feel like they're going to impact students in their own life," said Huntzinger. "But, what we want them to walk away with is an understanding of how changes in Arctic landscapes, due to climate change are really going to impact the rest of the globe."

This virtual learning technology will let students interact with the landscapes of the Arctic just as if they were there.

They expect the project to take five years.

Once it is completed, students around the world will be able to access it and engage on any device that has access to the internet.

There are already numerous virtual field trips similar to what's being developed.

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Destiny Quinn

Destiny Quinn is the new morning anchor for Tucson Today. She comes to Tucson from Jonesboro, Arkansas.

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