Resource Type
Lesson
Region
Antarctic
Completion Time
About 1 period
Grade
Middle School and Up
Permission
Download and Share
Author(s)
Lindsay Knippenberg
Materials
Student Handouts
Pictures of data from experiment (or the teacher can copy it down from the website and give the students the handout with the data already on it) (See Resources section).
Topic
Earth Science
Environmental Studies
Water Cycle, Weather, and Climate
Polar Science
General Environmental Studies
General Polar Science
Snow and Ice Science
Climate Change

Overview

Even in Antarctica ice will melt. As the sun stays higher and higher in the sky as summer progresses, the warm sun causes the ice to melt. The questions that we are going to ask are: 1) Does clean ice (no sediment) or dirty ice (has sediment mixed in it) melt faster? and 2) Would the ice melt if all the sunlight were reflected away? To answer these questions we melted a piece of dirty ice, a piece of clean ice, and a piece of ice covered in aluminum foil while also recording the air temperature. Students will view the pictures, record the data, graph the data, and then interpret the results.

Objectives

All students will be able to describe albedo and how it affects the melting rates of ice and its implications towards climate change.

Lesson Preparation

This lesson is fairly easy to complete in one or two class periods with little or no preparation. If the students will view the pictures directly, they will need internet access. If computers are not accessible, the teacher could copy down the data and use this activity as a graphing and interpretation lesson. Before beginning this lesson, students should have the basic knowledge necessary to make their own line graph. They should also have some prior knowledge of the albedo effect and other factors leading to ice melt.

Procedure

  1. Review the pre-lab questions together
  2. Make hypotheses
  3. Use the pictures on the PolarTREC Journal to fill in the data table
  4. Use the data to complete the ice melt and temperature graphs
  5. Interpret the graphs and answer the follow-up questions
  6. Review as a class

Extension

Do your own experiment! Make your own set-up with ice cubes with and without sediment to create clean and dirty ice. Have students record the results and compare it to our results.

Resources

Pictures available through the PolarTREC Journal at:
http://www.polartrec.com/expeditions/microorganisms-in-antarctic-glacieā€¦

Assessment

See follow-up questions on student handout

Credits

Lindsay Knippenberg. PolarTREC 2009. lknippenberg [at] solake.org

Standards

9-12 Content Standard A: Science As Inquiry: Content Standard B: Physical Science: Content Standard F: Science In Personal and Social Perspectives: a. Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry b. Understandings about scientific inquiry a. Properties and changes of properties in matter b. Populations, resources, and environments Content Standard A: Science As Inquiry: Content Standard F: Science In Personal and Social Perspectives: a. Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry b. Understandings about scientific inquiry c. Natural resources d. Environmental quality f. Science and technology in local, national, and global challenges
Attachment Size
Who Will Melt First Lesson428.31 KB 428.31 KB
Who Will Melt First Student Handout227 KB 227 KB