How Permanent is Permafrost?
Marian Grogan, et. al., Earth Exploration Toolbook/TERC
Activity takes about three to five 45-minute class periods. Computer access is required.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 7 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 1 Performance Expectation, 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 5 Cross Cutting Concepts, 6 Science and Engineering Practices
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Moving the initial reading to after part 1 or 2 would be a more active way to engage students in the activity.
- Good to pair students doing this investigation.
- Pre-load Google Earth and associated files on computers.
About the Science
- Activity provides a rich collection of print and media resources about scientists studying permafrost in Alaska and Siberia.
- Data sources are NSIDC, NCAR, NOAA, and NASA, in addition to unique historical permafrost dataset from Siberian Russia.
- Excellent use and application of science data with a problem-based scenario.
- Suggested resources for further study are current and good for given grade level.
- Comments from expert scientist: This is a very good interactive course material for students to learn the topic with an example introduced.
About the Pedagogy
- Activity begins with a case study to engage students' interest in the problem of thawing permafrost.
- Step-by-step structure of the data access and analysis parts of activity might be difficult for some students to follow easily.
- Show/hide feature allows students to compare their graphs with a model.
- Good organization of learning materials and a logical learning sequence leads students to analysis and understanding of complex data sets.
- Instructions are clear, thorough, and well-written.
- The case study provides good background information for students (and teachers).
- Excellent "Going Further" activities for advanced students.
- Activity begins with a lengthy reading, which may be a challenge for some students.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
See other data-rich activities
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- The "show me" feature that helps students through problems and procedures using software is exemplary.
- Some students will need support guidance with data access and analysis steps.
- Entire activity online. Students just need to follow the steps.
Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEANGoogle Earth online tutorial: http://www.google.com/earth/learn/beginner.html.
SERC Google Earth user's guide: http://serc.carleton.edu/sp/library/google_earth/UserGuide.html.
NSIDC All About Frozen Ground: https://nsidc.org/cryosphere/frozenground/index.html