Posted by: Leanna | February 26, 2013

Hypothermia in History?

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“Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful, honor and recognition in case of success.”

With this simple ad Ernest Shackleton advertised his 1914 Endurance Expedition to the Antarctic.  Beginning late in the year of 1914, Ernest Shackleton set sail with a 27-man crew.  During the expedition, their ship became stuck in the Antarctic pack ice.  The crew tried twice, each attempt unsuccessful, to drag the ship across the ice.  21 months after they set sail, the crew was rescued and not a single man was lost.

This story set the stage for today’s History lesson.  Conserve School’s CS 6 students tried their hand at pulling sledges across the frozen, yet quite slushy, Little Donahue Lake.  During breaks from sledging, the students read an article entitled “The Cold Hard Facts of Freezing to Death” by Peter Stark.  The article tells the story of a man stranded on a -27 degree night and takes the reader step by step through the physiological and psychological effects of hypothermia on the human body.

Students also learned briefly about the Children’s Blizzard, an 1888 blizzard that struck the American Prairie.  It was a blizzard that struck so suddenly and with such devastating force that it left hundreds of people stranded on the prairie unable to find their ways home, many of whom did not survive.

But never fear!  Though the students read about and discussed hypothermia, none of them experienced it today!

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