Resource Type
Completion Time
About a week
Middle School and Up
Download, Share, and Remix
Michael Wing
Related Members
Books, web sites, articles, and classroom speakers on Arctic topics
Atlases and maps of the Arctic
Computers equipped with software suitable for building web sites such as Macromedia Dreamweaver
General Archaeology and Anthropology
Organisms and Their Environments
General Polar Science
Climate Change


Each group of 2-4 students will research an arctic topic from a list, build a small web page devoted to that topic, link the group’s page to other groups’ relevant pages, and advocate for change around an issue that is important to the topic.


  1. Students will understand the complexity and vulnerability of Arctic ecosystems

  2. Students will understand the current geopolitical and legal issues surrounding the opening of the Arctic Ocean due to climate change

  3. Students will know the historical significance of the Northwest Passage

  4. Students will understand the past traditions of the Inuit and the present challenges facing the Inuit


This assignment is intended for classes who have a specific reason to care about the Arctic – for instance, their teacher will soon visit the Arctic through the PolarTREC program, or an Arctic scientist/explorer has recently visited the school.


  1. Read through the handout with students

  2. Introduce the books and maps

  3. Have each group draw a topic out of a hat

  4. Assign and collect each group’s research notes

  5. Assign and collect each group’s outline

  6. Have the groups build and submit their web pages

  7. Review and troubleshoot the pages – test the links

  8. Have each group show off their site to the class

  9. Grade the sites according to the rubric on the handout


Have each group identify a PolarTREC expedition/teacher that relates to their topic and use the “Ask the Team” feature on the PolarTREC web site to contact that teacher.


This assignment has been done by approximately a hundred 9th and 10th graders at Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo, CA.


A rubric for evaluating the web sites is included in the handout.


Michael Wing, wing [at] Adapted from “How Cold is it?” Project Wild Curriculum (1990), State of Alaska Department of Fish and Game.


9-12 Content Standard F: Science In Personal and Social Perspectives: c. Natural resources d. Environmental quality e. Natural and human-induced hazards f. Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges

Standards Other


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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.