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NORAD doesn't just track Santa Claus, it's giving children the opportunity to learn

NORAD has educational tools that teach children geography, culture and different ways people across the globe celebrate Christmas.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — This is the 65th year North American Aerospace Defense Command is tracking Santa Claus as he makes his way around the world.

“We are tracking [Santa's sleigh] with satellites, and they're very good at seeing heat," NORAD Alaska Region Command Deputy William Radiff said. "And with Rudolph's red nose – it gives off an infrared heat, we're able to track them very easily with the satellites."

When Old Saint Nick arrives in North America each year, NORAD sends fighter jets to intercept his sleigh to escort him and the reindeer from chimney to chimney.

“He is just crushing it like he always does every year," Radiff explained.

The command deputy said COVID-19 isn’t holding Santa back but has changed up NORAD’s call center operations this year.

“Normally we have about 1,500 volunteers that are actually at the call center," Radiff said. "But this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we've had to rearrange it a little bit and scale it down somewhat.”

Not every child has been able to get through to a volunteer to check on Santa’s whereabouts, he admitted, but a recording has helped give callers an update on his progress.

However, NORAD isn’t just tracking Old Saint Nick. It also teaches children geography, culture and different ways people across the globe celebrate Christmas.

“Santa is global," Radiff explained "And so we want to ensure that everybody around the globe gets a little piece of their own home, but also that they can look outwardly as well to see what else is going on in the world.“

For more educational tools and to see where Santa Claus is munching on cookies now, visit the Norad Tracks Santa website.

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