Resource Type
Completion Time
More than a week
High school and Up
Download, Share, and Remix
Related Members
Language & Communication
Snow and Ice Science
General Polar Science

Students will find an expedition within the PolarTREC archives and use the research to make a video explaining why studying polar science is important.


PolarTREC supports teachers on expeditions with real scientists to study in the field. Studying in the Arctic and Antarctic environments can be a harsh and rewarding experience. I participated in Operation IceBridge, an aerial study of the poles collecting data which is then disseminated to the public through the National Snow and Ice Data Center. Operation IceBridge collects different types of information that can be used in a myriad of ways.


Students will create a short video describing an aspect of polar science and why studying the poles is important.

Lesson Preparation

  • Introduce students to the PolarTREC website.
  • Show students various expeditions and photos.
  • Do a lesson from the PolarTREC webpage


  • Have students explore the PolarTREC site and pick a research project to research and explain to the class.
  • Working in groups of three or four, students will use the PolarTREC website and the National Snow and Ice Data Center website to do research on a topic in polar studies.
  • Students will pick their topic from expeditions on the Virtual Base Camp ( They can use computers, books, articles, and interviews with scientists to answer their questions.
  • The video will be no more than 4 minutes long and should be interesting and fun.
  • Students will be graded on their creativity and the science content of the video.
  • Before filming can begin, students must show an outline to the teacher with a script. For the outline, students will describe what is occurring in each scene of their movie.


  • Students will create a video trailer for a future research idea (can be used as a bonus opportunity).
  • Participate in the JESP Program:
  • Participate in the JASE Program:


PolarTREC Basecamp webpage:
PolarTREC Lesson webpage:
National Snow and Ice Data Center:


Use the attached Project rubric to assess the students' videos.

Author / Credits:

Adeena Teres, PolarTREC teacher 2017
Stoneman Douglas High School
Parkland, FL
adeena.teres [at]

Standards Other

Next Generation Science Standards

HS-ESS2-2: Analyze geoscience data to make the claim that one change to Earth's surface can create feedbacks that cause changes to other Earth systems.
HS-ESS3-5: Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.

Florida State Standards

SC.912.E.7.3: Differentiate and describe the various interactions among Earth systems, including: atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and biosphere.
SC.912.N.1.7: Recognize the role of creativity in constructing scientific questions, methods and explanations.
SC.912.N.1.3: Recognize that the strength or usefulness of a scientific claim is evaluated through scientific argumentation, which depends on† critical and logical thinking, and the active consideration of alternative scientific explanations to explain the data presented.

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.