The Arctic Ocean Curriculum Unit was created by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States with funding from the North Pacific Research Board. This project aimed to update and revise existing Arctic Ocean-related lesson plans originally created by PolarTREC program teacher alumni. The format used lends itself to the changes in education - providing student-facing slide decks that allow
This lesson focuses on the diffusion of gas molecules across the cuticle membrane of sea spider legs and the role body size plays in the ability of sea spiders to uptake gases. Students construct model sea spider legs of varying diameters and use them to investigate the relationship between surface area-to-volume ratios and diffusion.
Ice that forms in the polar oceans is an important driver behind the global climate. This ice is physically different from frozen precipitation in a number of different ways. In this brief inquiry activity, students make qualitative observations about two types of ice cubes and deduce ice composition based on their observations. This activity may serve as an introduction to
This lesson incorporates techniques and experimental designs used by researchers during the Southern Ocean Diatoms PolarTREC expedition and during post-expedition laboratory analysis. This guided inquiry lesson provides students the opportunity to explore photosynthesis and primary productivity using techniques to measure chlorophyll levels.
1. Use models to predict chlorophyll levels in the global oceans
Understanding Physical and Chemical Parameters of Ocean Water Using CTD Profiles
A focus of the PolarTREC Southern Ocean Diatoms expedition was to collect water samples and physical profile data using oceanographic technology. Oceanographers rely on the real-time data transferred from the water column to the ship-based computers using a CTD sensor. The CTD measures conductivity (salinity), temperature and depth
Oceanography is the study of the ocean. It covers a wide range of topics from marine life to the geology of the sea floor to the physical properties of the ocean. Physical oceanographers study the physical components of the ocean including light, waves, tides, currents and the composition of sea water. The physical properties of the ocean can
My high school has a Science Club whose members visit local elementary schools and run various “stations” that (elementary) students visit for 10-15 minutes before rotating to a different one. This lesson is designed to be one those – a quick hitting, but engaging look into polar science that will stir the kids’ inherent curiosity and get them
One of the most important indicators of our warming climate is the extent and thickness of polar sea ice. Currently satellites measure the extent of polar sea ice but it takes more sophisticated equipment aboard a low-flying plane to actually measure the thickness of sea ice. This lesson will show students how this is done.
This activity works best for students who don't have a lot of lab experience and learn best through hands on activities. It allows them to not only investigate an aspect of global warming (rising sea levels), they will also get practice with making predictions and writing a hypothesis as well as understanding basic scientific concepts such as water
NASA's Operation IceBridge images Earth's polar ice in unprecedented detail to better understand processes that connect the Polar Regions with the global climate system. IceBridge uses a specialized fleet of aircraft and the most sophisticated suite of science instruments ever assembled to gather data on sea ice, glaciers, and ice sheets. The data gathered today will allow future scientists