Students recently embarked on our first programs to America’s Last Frontier – Alaska! Travelers explored Anchorage, observed birds at Potter Marsh, visited Denali National Park to look for wildlife, and stopped by the Iditarod Headquarters where they were able to meet a number of sled dogs.
“The Alaska program allowed students to explore natures in a hands-on format that kept them engaged,” says Vice President of Curriculum and Academics Wendy Amato. “Students were enthusiastic about the wildlife, the exit glacier hike, the cultural interactions and, certainly, the sled dog puppies at the Iditarod Center!”
As more students gear up to travel to Alaska with us, we gathered 10 interesting facts about America’s Last Frontier.
- Aurora borealis – the northern lights – can be seen an average of 243 days a year in Fairbanks.
- Alaska is less than 50 miles from Russia.
- The state accounts for 25 percent of the oil produced in the United States.
- Alaska is the only state name that can be typed on one row of a keyboard.
- 17 of North America’s 20 highest peaks are in Alaska, including the highest peak, Denali, which is 20,320 ft. above sea level.
- Alaska contains more than 100 volcanoes and volcanic fields which have been active within the last two million years.
- Alaska has more coastline than the rest of the United States combined (more than 34,000 miles), more inland water than any other state (20,171 square miles), and is the only state to have coastlines on three different seas – the Arctic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Bering Sea.
- The only battle during World War II that was fought on American soil took place in 1943 after the Japanese invaded the Aleutian Islands.
- The United States purchased Alaska from Russia in 1867. Secretary of State William H. Seward paid $7.2 million, or two cents per acre, for Alaska.
- Alaska’s capital Juneau is the only state capital in the United States with no road connecting the city to the rest of state or to the rest of North America as the terrain is too rugged to build a road. All goods coming in and out must go by plane or boat.