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Denali Park programs go interactive via Skype

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Posted: Monday, November 5, 2012 10:39 pm | Updated: 11:54 am, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — Denali Park rangers are geared up and ready to teleport themselves via Skype into classrooms around the state for some fun, interactive lessons on sled dog adaptations and the geology of Mount McKinley.

Winter dog mushing in Denali National Park and Preserve and ascending the “Great One” are available, free of charge, for the next four weeks for Alaska elementary students.

Two informative adventure trips, courtesy of Denali park rangers, are ready and waiting for teachers to sign on elementary classroom students and groups of eight or more homeschool students, in grades third to six.

“It’s a one-on-one experience between a park ranger/education specialist and the classroom,” said Sierra McLain of the National Park Service.

Chinook, the sled dog, will lead students in grades three to five out on a winter patrol in the park to learn about “The Science of Sled Dogs.”

Though park roads are choked with snow, a park ranger, Chinook and a park sled dog team will trot over remote dog mushing trails, and students will learn how sled dogs adapt to and survive Alaska’s cold, sub-arctic winters.

Students in grades four to six will have the opportunity to follow a geologist named Sue as she climbs Denali, exploring its physical features along the way. Interesting facts and photos about weather around the mountain and glaciers will tell the story about how geologic processes have created the tallest mountain in North America.

The programs are available Monday through Friday beginning Nov. 12 through Dec. 14. Registration is open, and forms for scheduling groups and teaching materials are posted on the web at www.nps.gov/dena/forteachers/learning/index.htm.

The National Park Service interactive, distance learning programs are free. Both programs are designed to meet national teaching standards.

For questions and additional information, contact the park’s education staff at DENA_education@nps.gov.

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