Update 4/19/2005: Ben Webster has broken his leg in two places in the icefall.
Sherpas carried Ben down to Base camp. Ben will be flown to Kathmandu with
Shaunna by helicopter tomorrow. It is unclear if Shaunna will continue the
Forging a unique relationship that promotes their
strengths and innovations, Telecom Ottawa and the Ottawa-Carleton District
School Board (OCDSB) announced today that, through joint title sponsorship,
they will be supporting Ben Webster's spring 2005 climb of Mount Everest.
Ben, the expedition leader, is an experienced
Canadian climber whose most recent Everest expedition was chronicled by The
Discovery Channel. He will again be joined by Shaunna Burke, who is completing
a Ph. D. in Sports Psychology at the University of Ottawa.
The joint sponsorship will bring real-time satellite
video of the
expedition delivered by Telecom Ottawa to six schools
within the OCDSB. Extensive Everest curriculum offerings will be made
available at these schools. Already, Telecom Ottawa has connected all 154 of
the Board's school sites to the company's fiber network, which is North
America's largest and fastest city-wide network.
This Everest experience will be explored within the
curriculum designed by teachers to enrich the learning
experience of students in various subjects including exercise science,
physical education, geography, art, photography, anthropology, information
technology, design and technology, business, biology and religion. The
students will be placed virtually in the back pack of Ben Webster and take
them to the mountain.
"We're thrilled to be partnering with the
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board on such an important and innovative
initiative," said Dave Dobbin, Chief Operating Officer, Telecom Ottawa. "It's
fantastic that students will be able to benefit from seeing and learning about
Expedition Everest in this way."
"It's all about the students, really," said John
Hindle, OCDSB Manager of Business and Learning Technologies. "Giving them the
opportunity to experience the satellite video transmission from Mount Everest
- in real-time - is amazing. It will provide the framework for learning what's
involved, from a whole range of different perspectives, in climbing the
world's tallest mountain."
"The prospect is exciting for us," said Dave Dobbin.
"It's something that no one has ever done before capturing live video feeds
sent from the peaks of Mount Everest - a perilous setting, in one of the
world's coldest, harshest environments and transmitting them direct to the
classrooms of Ottawa."
Steve Gamble, Manager of Network Operations with
Telecom Ottawa, will be joining Expedition Everest for the climb to Base Camp.
"I'm looking forward to the experience. Base camp Everest is at 18,000 feet,
about 4,000 feet higher than our Canadian Rockies, so even at that level, the
challenges are significant," said Steve. "It'll be fun to connect with
students back home in Ottawa from the other side of the world -at the top of
About Telecom Ottawa Limited
Telecom Ottawa is a broadband data and Internet
services provider based in Ottawa with operations throughout Eastern Ontario.
The company owns and operates the largest 10 Gigabit metropolitan-wide network
in North America, with more than 600 kilometers of fibre optic cable. This
broadband infrastructure enables the provision of bandwidth capacity for data
networking, high-speed Internet access, e-business applications and multimedia
services. In providing services to businesses and public-sector organizations,
Telecom Ottawa also delivers an extensive portfolio of ISP capabilities such
as email, web hosting, wireless and remote Internet access.
About The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB)
The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) is
the largest school board in Eastern Ontario, serving students within a 2,760
square kilometer area comprising the city of Ottawa. OCDSB is the seventh
largest District by school population in Ontario. Enrolment as of October 31,
2004 totaled 70,526 full-time equivalent (FTE) students (44,535 elementary and
25,991 secondary). The total number of full-time equivalent (FTE) elementary
teachers was 2,658 and the number of secondary teachers was 1,586, as of
October 31, 2004. The OCSDB has 150 school sites (118 elementary, 27 secondary
including the Adult High School and five secondary alternate sites). There are
also six alternative elementary programs located or co-located in the
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