Resources: School visits

To help you prepare to field questions during a school visit, UKPN has compiled and categorised a list of questions most commonly asked by schoolchildren for polar scientists below:

Flora and Fauna:

  • Have you been attacked by wild animals?
  • Will dogs or animals that are meant to be in warm places be able to survive there?
  • Who discovered polar bears?
  • Why are polar bears called polar bears?
  • How do you know if a polar bear is male or female?
  • How big and cute are polar bears?
  • Have you ever met a polar bear, a polar fox or a polar cow?
  • Some people live in polar bear igloos; the polar bear might come back, what do you do then?
  • Do penguins really dance like in Happy Feet?
  • Is there really a yeti?
  • What’s the most interesting thing a marine biologist has ever seen?

Travel to and from the poles:

  • How many days do you stay in Antarctica?
  • What did you take in your suitcase?
  • Did the ship get attacked by a giant squid on your way south?

Geography and climate:

  • How does ice break into water?
  • How do people work on the ice?
  • Why does snow melt into water?
  • How cold is the south pole?
  • How cold is the sea in south pole?
  • Why is the sea warmer than standing on the ice?
  • How thick can ice get?
  • How cold is the water?
  • What is the average temperature?
  • How long is it dark for?
  • What is the coldest temperature you have ever experienced?
  • Are the auroras really that cool?
  • Did you ever find meteorites in the Antarctic?
  • The ice has been melting over thousands of years, how has global warming affected this speed?
  • What will you study once the ice melts?
  • Why is it so important that the ice is there anyway?

Life in the poles:

  • Do you have any pets in Antarctica?
  • What’s it like when it’s dark all day?
  • How many layers of clothes do you need?
  • How do you go to the loo?
  • How do you shower in the Antarctic?
  • How do you sleep when it’s light all day?
  • How can you get to school?
  • How do you feel running around in snow boots?
  • Do you get a good mobile phone signal?
  • Where do you get your electricity from?
  • Can you make telephone calls?
  • How do you cook?
  • What do you eat?
  • What is your suit made of?
  • Do you work and sleep in the same house?
  • Is all your food frozen?
  • Have you ever had frost bite?
  • Does anyone die?
  • Do you play in the snow much? And do you ever make a snowman?
  • Do you ever feel like packing up and going home?
  • Have you ever got lost in the snow?
  • Does anyone get diseases such as swine flu in the Antarctic?
  • Are there kids there?
  • What do you miss the most?


  • Who first went to Antarctica?
  • Who was the first crew to discover the Antarctic?
  • Why was the world invented?