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How do Polar Bears bear the cold?

Do you know?
Junior and Senior Infants set about to answer this question as part of their learning and discovery of all things polar related this past month! Our Aistear theme of Polar Regions allowed us to delve into the environments of the Arctic and Antarctic.

In role play we became explorers on sledges photographing and documenting the animals we spotted. We built igloos using Lego and read books about explorers and Eskimos. We learned lots about the polar animals especially about penguins and polar bears and Mrs Brennan was very impressed with all the knowledge and fascinating facts the children offered on penguins in particular!

We learned lots of new vocabulary such as Inuits, blizzard, camouflage, predator and….. blubber! Blubber – how polar bears bear the cold! Blubber is the thick layer of fat that lies directly under the skins of polar animals. We learned how blubber acts like a natural insulator keeping the animals warm in their harsh cold habitat. To investigate how blubber works we carried out an experiment using cooking fat and icy cold water! We each got a turn submerging both our hands into the water, one bare hand and one hand with cooking fat completely surrounding it.  We discovered that while our bare hand was freezing, our ‘blubber’ gloved hand did not get cold at all! See our photos below.