Sea ice, the thin layer of ice that covers most of the Arctic Ocean and surrounds most of the Antarctic continent, represents a distinctive feature of our planet. The attached flyer, produced by the International Polar Year (IPY) Programme Office, includes a summary of information about sea ice including sea ice formation, movement, monitoring, seasonal patterns, and forecasting. A follow-up
This PDF handout and activity provides background information about polar weather and climate followed by an activity to help students consider their own local weather vs. polar weather. Students will observe the weather where they live and report on basic meteorological data such as air temperature, precipitation, wind etc. and use a weather map to compare their local weather to
Students will observe how soils and rocks of different densities behave in wind and in water. They will make predictions and careful observations as they learn about sediment transport and sediment rates in streams and rivers.
Students experiment with a “blubber glove” to experience how insulation affects heat transfer, and how the adaptation of blubber helps penguins as well as seals, whales and walruses survive in bitterly cold waters.
The Solar Oven Science activity was developed as a way to target conservation of energy. Some students understand that he sun can be used for heating and cooking but they mistakenly think that this can only work in deserts. Because of conservation of energy solar cooking and heating can work in temperate and even arctic environments. The linked
Students will take some time and look at the PolarTREC website journals, pictures, and forums to learn about a certain teacher, researcher, or polar science expedition that has already taken place or is currently taking place. Students will use the attached worksheet to think more deeply about a polar researcher's job and work.