Polar Science Weekend

March 2, 10:00 a.m. - March 3, 5:00 p.m.
Polar Science Weekend March 2-3

Polar Science Weekend is your opportunity to investigate current science from Earth’s polar regions through hands-on activities and demonstrations led by local polar scientists! Visit a polar ice camp and check out the polar science stations. And don’t miss classics such as the polar planetarium show and Tinker Tank activities with a polar twist. Brrrr!

Meet polar researchers from the University of Washington and delve into current research through demonstrations and hands-on activities, on-site programming, and Science and a Movies.

Hands-On Activities

  • Arctic Ice Camp – What’s it like to be in an Arctic ice camp? Check out the hut, try on a parka, and ride the snowmobile!
  • Salinity Taste Test – Just how salty is the ocean? Your tongue will tell you! Come take the World Famous Salinity Taste Test!
  • Glacier Flow – Watch silly-putty glaciers ooze down a slope and find out why real glaciers are important to the Earth’s climate. Where does the ice in glaciers come from?
  • Greenland Ice Core – The Greenland ice sheet is 2 miles thick and thousands of years old. See a real ice core from Greenland and learn what it tells us about Earth’s climate.
  • Sea Ice vs. Freshwater Ice – How is frozen seawater different from frozen lake water? Do an experiment to find out!
  • Ocean Watchdogs – How can you measure the ocean year-round without being there? Put your instruments on a long cable and anchor it to the bottom. Come see our 2.5-mile-long North Pole mooring.
  • Listening to the Arctic – Eavesdrop underwater to the sounds of whales and seals in the Arctic Ocean. What are they saying?
  • Float Your Boat – Decorate your own wooden boat that we’ll launch into the Arctic Ocean next summer. Where will your boat end up? (while supplies last)
  • Penguins – our fascination and our impact – Touch a real penguin flipper, see how sharp a penguin’s beak is, and try your hand at being a penguin scientist!
  • Life in Ice – Some like it Really Cold! – Learn about microbes that live in the frozen world of sea ice.
  • Build your own Icy Alien World – Did you know there’s water and ice beyond Earth? Learn about the structure of icy moons and dwarf planets in the Solar System as you build your own.


  • Science on a Sphere – Explore polar ice, wind, and water patterns at the Science on a Sphere exhibit
  • Arctic Pulse in the Willard Smith Planetarium (12:15, 4:15 p.m.) – Follow a team of scientists on an epic year-long expedition to the Arctic in this 360-degree film. Tickets are free with general admission.


Science & a Movie: Polar Bears in the Chukchi Sea

PACCAR IMAX Theater | Saturday, March 2 | 12:30 p.m.

Meet polar bear researcher, Dr. Eric Reghr, as he shares his experience studying polar bears in the Chukchi Sea region, followed by the film The Arctic: Our Frozen Planet and a short Q&A. Tickets are free with general admission.

Science & a Movie: Glaciers on the Front Lies

PACCAR IMAX Theater | Sunday, March 3 | 2:15 p.m.

Meet glaciologist, Ian Joughin, for an overview of the role glaciers play in keeping Earth’s climate in balance, followed by the film, The Arctic: Our Frozen Planet and a short Q&A. Tickets are free with general admission.

Special Thanks to:

This event is a partnership between PacSci and the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center and Applied Physics Laboratory, with support from the U.S. National Science Foundation.