Educators at PPZA workshops interact with the traveling researchers and do some of the inquiry-based hands-on activities - seen here, teachers at the San Diego Museum of Natural History, listening to Sridhar Anandakrishnan explain how ice cores document past climate.
One of the most exciting aspects of bringing polar science into the classroom is that many aspects of actual and ongoing real-world research can be simulated inexpensively and easily, but still reasonably authentically. Your students can see seals and penguins in video clips, and then experience - literally "hands-on" in the Blubber Glove activity - some of the physical adaptations which allow these creatures to survive in extreme conditions. As in "Differential Effects of Melting Ice" Activity, they can experiment with ice cubes and discover the different effects of melting sea-ice and land-based ice on sea level rise. Combining math skills with authentic data, they can plot trends in greenhouse gases and see why changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has become such a hot (sic) topic.
We've been adding more of these simple but revealing Activities as POLAR-PALOOZA has continued during the IPY years. Some of them are adapted from earlier NSF- and NASA-supported projects, such as Live From Antarctica: they are already teacher-tested and have been well reviewed for simplicity but relevance to the core curriculum. Others are adapted with permission from sources such as the Department of Energy's ARM project. We hope you and your students find them fun and informative. We'd love to hear your reactions and opinions: please respond using the form in the Credits & Contacts section of this website.
We've also searched the web for some of the best Activities relating to the main themes of IPY and polar research. Choose the "Additional Off-Site Resources" link in the pull down menu below:
Select an Activity from the List