PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is a program in which formal and informal educators spend 3-6 weeks participating in hands-on field research experiences in the polar regions. The goal of PolarTREC is to invigorate polar science education and understanding by bringing educators and polar researchers together.
This is an article detailing the alarming rate at which the Arctic is changing. The article goes through the specific examples of Sea ice, Greenland, Wildfires and Permafrost. This is a readable article for advanced middle school and high school students, and an excellent resource for teachers.
In this investigation, students will measure production of CO2 from surface water and consider the role of surface waters in the global carbon cycle and climate change. They will gather data on using Vernier CO2 sensors. This lesson presents a wonderful opportunity for student-designed experiments.
This is a good lesson to get students thinking about the complexity of the systems involved in providing our society with energy, the consequences of energy use and efficiency. Students are encouraged to explore the data sets on their own, ask their own questions about energy use and present their findings to each other.
Students will explore the concept of albedo and how it relates to melting ice and climate change. This is a hands-on activity where students measure the reflectivity of various surfaces as a model for how light interacts with different parts of the Earth’s surface. This is adapted from lessons created by Jamie Esler and SERC earthlabs.
Learning about feedback mechanisms is an important part of understanding how climate change will play out in the near and long term. Students are also exposed to the idea that scientists create simple models of complex climate systems and that feedback mechanisms play a crucial role in climate modeling.