Sixth-grade students at Albert D. Lawton School were hard at work building quinzhees. These domed snow structures differ from igloos in that they are constructed by making a large pile of loose snow and hollowing it out; igloos are formed by creating a structure from blocks of hard snow.

Quinzhees are simple to construct and create warm sheltered environments that can be life-saving in harsh winter conditions.

This annual event is the brainchild of Peter Gustafson, a humanities teacher who has seen nearly five thousand students pass through his classrooms over a 38 year career. The program originated from a polar studies unit that Gustafson once taught, but it now serves as a lesson in both environmental and survival studies.