MOSAiC Monday - January 6, 2020

Immerse Yourself in the 1893 Fram Expedition

Explore the Arctic Aboard the Fram

If you've been following MOSAiC Monday since the MOSAiC expedition began, you'll remember that MOSAiC is following in the footsteps of the Fram expedition more than 125 years ago. In 1893, Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen and his crew set sail for the Arctic in their wooden ship, the Fram. Their goal was to freeze the specially-designed ship into sea ice and drift along with the ice to the North Pole (sound familiar?). Although they never did reach the North Pole, the 3-year Fram expedition contributed to new and exciting discoveries in oceanography and Arctic geography.

After the 1893-1896 Arctic expedition, the Fram would go on to do two more polar expeditions: a Canadian Arctic islands expedition led by Otto Sverdrup in 1898, and the first expedition to reach the South Pole in 1910, led by Roald Amundsen. Today, the Fram ship is preserved in the Fram Museum in Norway, but you can visit it virtually and learn more about the expedition in this 360-degree immersive Google Expedition (above)!


How to Use this Virtual Expedition

Click and drag to move around the current scene or click the arrows at the bottom to check out other scenes. Within each scene you'll see white circles with a picture symbol inside. Click on these to learn more about various aspects of the expedition. This expedition is also available as a virtual reality experience using Google Cardboard glasses (or similar virtual reality viewers) and the Google Expeditions app. Download the app on your smartphone and search for "Explore the Arctic Aboard the Fram." Students can view the Expedition on their own or be teacher-guided. Instructions on how to facilitate a teacher-guided Google Expedition can be found here. 

We'd like to thank the Fram museum and photographer/videographer extraordinaire Amy Richman for the 360-degree images that you can explore in this Google Expedition. 


Learn more about the Fram museum

Download the Google Expeditions app 

Tour the Polarstern in 360 degrees!

15-minute clock icon Fram Expedition Scavenger Hunt

Fram in ice

Your students can freely explore the Fram virtual expedition on their own, or you can challenge them to complete a scavenger hunt! Create your own, or use one that we've created for you. Photo credit: National Library of Norway


Explore the Arctic Aboard the Fram virtual scavenger hunt



 NGSS - Engineering NGSS - Structure and Function

Polarstern Attention Teachers: Pilot Arctic Curriculum in Your Classroom!

The education and outreach team for the MOSAiC Arctic research expedition is developing several units for middle and high school classrooms centered on the expedition and Arctic climate science. Units will be connected to the Next Generation Science Standards and will cover topics like the nature of science and scientific discovery, oceanography, Arctic marine ecosystems, climatology, and more. We are looking for middle and high school teachers willing to either review or pilot-test the units in their classroom. Teachers who pilot the units and provide feedback will receive up to $50 in Amazon gift cards. Interested teachers should fill out this short (<5 minutes) survey. Teachers can preview one of the units to be piloted here, which includes the virtual Fram expedition above.


Preview a unit

Interested in piloting or reviewing curriculum? Fill out this survey!

10-minute clock icon​ Quick Bite: Arctic Temperature Comparisons


Fram expedition photo

The 1893 Fram expedition crew members collected a variety of oceanographic and meteorological data over the course of the three years they drifted across the Arctic frozen in ice. Below is a table showing the average monthly temperatures at the location of the Fram in the Arctic between 1893-1896. Compare these numbers to the average monthly temperatures in the MOSAiC Data Log below under MOSAiC Weekly Tracking (you'll need to do some calculations). Keep in mind that the numbers in the MOSAiC Data Log represent snapshots in time and not the full range of temperatures experienced at the Polarstern so far over the course of the MOSAiC expedition. Photo (Courtesy of the National Library of Norway): Frederik Hjalmar Johansen, officer, meteorological assistant, and firefighter aboard the Fram.

1893-1896 Fram expedition average monthly temperatures
Month Average Temperature (deg C)
October -21.44
November -28.72
December -32.23
January -35.59
February -35.83
March -30.33
April -22.78
May -11.02
June -1.83
July 0.05
August -1.76
September -8.99


Note: This and other Fram expedition datasets can be found in the various volumes of The Norwegian North Polar Expedition, 1893-1896; Scientific Results by Fridtjof Nansen or on the National Snow and Ice Data Center's website.


1. How do the average monthly temperatures from the Fram expedition compare to the average monthly temperatures from the MOSAiC expedition so far?

2. How do the locations of the Fram and Polarstern compare at various months? You can find this information on the MOSAiC web app by clicking on this symbol in the bottom left corner of the map: Fram symbol

Go to MOSAiC web app


NGSS - ESS NGSS - Analyzing data NGSS - Math NGSS - Patterns 

#askmosaic#askmosaic: Staying Safe and Healthy in the Arctic

This week's question was submitted by Alan from Seneca Falls Middle School: Has anyone been hurt or needed medical attention?

Polarstern's hospital

"It can be very slippery on snow covered decks. A colleague slipped on icy steps and broke his leg. Out on the sea ice the biggest danger is falling through thin, snow covered ice into the water. We have to wear a flotation suit to make sure we don’t sink. No one has fallen all the way in yet, but some people have gotten wet feet.”  

-Ian Brooks, Professor of Boundary Layer Processes at the University of Leeds and member of MOSAIC Team Atmosphere. Ian just returned from Leg I of the MOSAiC expedition.


Photo: The Polarstern has a hospital and doctor on board for anyone who might need medical attention. Photo credit: Hannes Grobe, AWI


Submit your questions to #askmosaic!

10-minute clock icon MOSAiC Weekly Tracking

Plot the Polarstern

Each week we will provide you with the latitude and longitude coordinates of the Polarstern so that your students can track its journey across the Arctic in your classroom.

Download the map to plot coordinates

Download a larger map of the Arctic for a bigger picture view of the expedition area

Location of the Polarstern
 Date  Latitude  Longitude
 September 16, 2019  69.68 N  18.99 E
 September 23, 2019  72.31 N  26.93 E
 September 30, 2019  85.12 N  138.05 E
 October 4, 2019**  85.08 N  134.43 E
 October 7, 2019  85.10 N  133.82 E
 October 14, 2019  84.85 N  135.03 E
 October 21, 2019  84.97 N  132.73 E
 October 28, 2019  85.47 N  127.07 E
 November 4, 2019  85.88 N  121.70 E
 November 11, 2019  85.82 N  116.00 E
 November 18, 2019  86.05 N  122.43 E
 November 25, 2019  85.85 N  121.35 E
 December 2, 2019  85.97 N  112.95 E
 December 9, 2019  86.25 N  121.40 E
 December 16, 2019  86.62 N  118.12 E
 December 23, 2019  86.63 N  113.20 E
 December 30, 2019  86.58 N  117.13 E
 January 6, 2020  87.10 N  115.10 N

 **Day when MOSAiC reached the ice floe that the Polarstern will become frozen in and drift with for the next year.

Log MOSAiC Data 

What happens in the Arctic as the seasons change? Find out firsthand with real-time Arctic data, provided for you here each week. 

Download a MOSAiC Data Logbook to keep track of Arctic conditions over the course of the expedition

**The Data Logbook has been updated for 2020!

 Date  Length of day (hrs)  Air temperature (deg C) at location of Polarstern  Arctic Sea Ice Extent (million km2)
 September 16, 2019  13.25  High: 10   Low: 4.4  3.9
 September 23, 2019  12.35  High: 6     Low: -1  4.1
 September 30, 2019  9.1  -4.7  4.4
 October 4, 2019**  6.27  -13.0  4.5
 October 7, 2019  3.05  -8.2  4.6
 October 14, 2019  0  -14.7  4.8
 October 21, 2019  0  -12.8  5.4
 October 28, 2019  0  -18.3  6.8
 November 4, 2019  0  -18.9  8.0
 November 11, 2019  0  -25.5  8.7
 November 18, 2019  0  -10.7  9.3
 November 25, 2019  0  -18.4  10.0
 December 2, 2019  0  -26.6  10.4
 December 9, 2019  0  -23.1  11.2
 December 16, 2019  0  -19.2  11.8
 December 23, 2019  0  -26.9   12.2
 December 30, 2019  0  -26.4   12.6
 January 6, 2020  0  -28.0  13.0

*Note: We expect data to fall within the following ranges: Length of day, 0-24 hours; Temperature, -40 to 14 degrees C; Sea ice extent, 3-15 million km2

**Day when MOSAiC reached the ice floe that the Polarstern will become frozen in and drift with for the next year.

NGSS iconMOSAiC Monday and the NGSS

What do those funny symbols below some engagements mean?

Good news for educators in the U.S. teaching with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) or similar! We will now be tagging MOSAiC Monday engagements with the NGSS Disciplinary Core Idea subject(s), Science and Engineering Practice(s), and Crosscutting Concept(s) that they most closely connect to. Look for these symbols listed below each engagement: 

Disciplinary Core Idea Subjects
Science and Engineering Practices (adopted from the San Diego County Office of Education Science Resource Center)
Crosscutting Concepts (adopted from the San Diego County Office of Education Science Resource Center)

Is there something you'd like to see in MOSAiC Monday?  Let us know!

Send us your feedback

New to MOSAiC Monday? Check out past editions!

Browse more expedition-related educational resources, videos, and blogs

Next Week
  • Learn more about the MOSAiC School and the MOSAiC School Ambassadors
  • Check in with the Polarstern