This week and next we have several schools participating in the IditaProject from Bering Straits School District. There are 30 schools participating this year, so the interaction is by emailed in questions instead of live interaction.
We learned about the stats on the race so far, looked at a map of where the race goes, and heard about the snow conditions. We watched some video clips where the students from BSSD had interviewed mushers and edited and produced the tape.
We got to see a surprise guest – Gary Paulsen! He told stories about the race and answered questions from students. He told about his first race and how he was sure, the whole race through, that he wouldn’t finish. And he finished 42nd!
A lot of the discussion in today’s program was about the difference between racing many years ago and now. The GPS units are especially controversial. The mushers aren’t supposed to use GPS to follow the trail – they are supposed to use a compass. And many of them have their favorite places to stop and rest, and other secret strategies. Having a GPS record it is very frustrating. Most of the mushers don’t like it. It was a very interesting discussion.
We’ll be back for the sessions on the 11th, 12th, and 13th. If you’re not an interactive site, you can still follow the streaming video and the discussion forums.