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Students 'climb' Mount Everest

NSF Award:

Infrastructure via Science and Technology Enhanced Partnerships III  (Montana University System Office)

Congressional Districts:
Research Areas:

Mount Everest rises 29,035 feet, often disappearing into the clouds. To learn about the science of the world's tallest mountain and the demands of a climb, students in Montana, Wyoming and Utah followed a group of climbers as they ascended the mountain.

Using real GPS monitors and geologic rock hammers, the students found local objects, identified rocks and learned the importance of these tools. They also learned to appreciate the physical demands of climbing Mount Everest by climbing stairs with 10 pounds of textbooks on their backs while breathing through a straw.

Team member Dave Lageson, a Montana State University (MSU) professor of geology, led a rigorous scientific component to complement the expedition's climbing goals. MSU graduate student Travis Corthouts participated in that research and relayed scientific findings and news back to Montana via blogs, photos and video. Other team members hailed from Wyoming and Utah.

The Montana climbers partnered with the Montana Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and MSU Extended University to produce an education and public outreach program that reached schools and citizens throughout Montana and beyond. The outreach focused on the science of Mount Everest, particularly glaciology, geology, weather, climate change and high-altitude physiology.

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  • researcher on mount everest communicates with montana classrooms via satellite
  • students study geological samples similar to those on mount everest
Researcher communicates via satellite with Montana students.
Montana State University
Students study geological samples similar to those on Mt. Everest.
Montana State University

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