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It is a slippery slope

Glenn Clark, PolarTrec

This is a demonstration that includes a review of scientific abstracts that show how warm water currents speed up ice sheet loss and sub-ice water infiltration into the Southern Ocean.

This activity takes three to five 60 minute class periods

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Demonstration requires time for water to freeze.
  • Embedding demonstration into a lesson will be required for effective learning.
  • Teacher support materials include video of science project and PDF of PPT describing science.
  • This resource includes a webinar for teachers to learn more about the lesson plan and background that went into its design.
  • This resource will not work well virtually.
  • This resource can be tailored for many different audiences or grade levels.
  • The demonstration can act as a stand alone activity if need be.
  • The second part of the activity could be assigned for homework.

About the Science

  • This resource includes a hands-on science experiment to visualize how the Antarctic ice sheet is melting from warm ocean currents.
  • This activity has students review scientific abstracts that have been accepted to the American Geophysical Union conference.
  • This research allows students to strengthen their understanding of scientific field work and how that leads to greater understanding of ice sheet dynamics.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • This resource begins with a hands-on experiment that establishes the concept that the ice sheet is melting from below, due to the ocean.
  • This hands-on component will likely engage students and provide a vehicle for seeking more information and understanding.
  • The second part of this activity has students answer questions from reading scientific abstracts on the relationship of the cryosphere and oceanography in Antarctica. This will require good reading skills. This part of the activity engages students' critical thinking and reading skills.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Demonstration easy to prepare and run. Requires freezing so needs to be planned ahead.

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