Resource Type
Completion Time
About 1 period
High school and Up
Download and Share
Bridget Ward
Heather Liwanag
Related Members
Weddell seal pup data cards
Weddell seal pup student worksheet
Growing Up on Ice Lesson Intro PPT
Weddell seal pup data for statistics or computer science
Life Science
Earth Science
Environmental Studies
Polar Science


This is a STEM-based lesson that can be taught in class or online. Students will analyze Weddell seal pup growth data, collected by the Growing Up on Ice, B-030, research team. To use this lesson virtually, include the data cards and have students either construct graphs and upload an image of their graph, or construct a graph and share using the technology that is used online in the classroom.


This lesson is Algebra 1 based. Students will apply skills to:

  1. Analyze data
  2. Represent and solve equations graphically
  3. Draw a line of best fit
  4. Write equations based on data
  5. Construct a graph including title, labeling axis, plotting data

Lesson Preparation

  • Provide students with PDF of Weddell seal pups data cards (in Lesson Materials) for each group.
  • Print copies of worksheets for class (if virtual omit graphing section or use web application.
  • Color pencils/markers, rulers, calculators may be useful. If using for stats class or computer apps class modify Excel file, it contains answers.


  • Students should be divided into groups of four (though activity can be modified to work in smaller groups or alone).
  • Provide each student with a worksheet, questions 1-7 are answered without Weddell seal pup data cards. The data cards include the data to construct graphs.


  • Microsoft Excel: Students can use data to construct graphs in Excel.
  • Students can insert trend lines and calculate slope and y-intercept and interpret what each means. Slope being growth rate and y-intercept, being predicted size at birth.
  • Statistics students can evaluate if these equations are “acceptable” and support their claim with evidence.


Data can be used to build models of Weddell seal pups growing.


  • Additional information about Weddell seals along with maps where data were collected can be found at
  • Lesson Materials include data, graphs, trendlines, and R2 values.


Student worksheets including graph construction will be assessed.


Bridget Ward, PolarTREC Teacher 2019 Springfield Central High School Springfield, MA bridgetlward [at]

Dr. Heather Liwanag California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA hliwanag [at]



Standards Other

Massachusetts Mathematics Frameworks: A-SSE A., A-CED, A-REI NGSS Practices: Developing and Using Models, Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

Polar-ICE: 1D Polar climates create different living conditions. 4C The Antarctic food web is simple and dependent on ice.

Attachment Size
Full Lesson12.27 MB 12.27 MB
Download Slideshow - Lesson Introduction9.97 MB 9.97 MB
Lesson Materials1.64 MB 1.64 MB
Download Weddell seal pup data 43.1 KB 43.1 KB

This program is supported by the National Science Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed by this program are those of the PIs and coordinating team, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.