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Global Snow Cover Changes

Missy Holzer, PolarTrec

Students use an online mapping tool to investigate changes in global snow cover, develop a problem statement about global snow cover, and then use the tools to investigate a problem or question of their own design.

This activity will take approximately 1 class period

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Instructional support may be needed for some students to formulate their research question. Broken link in student worksheet; check before proceeding with use.
  • This activity utilizes the Global Snow Lab from Rutgers University, taking students on a journey of learning about satellite data and its applicability to understanding snow and climate patterns in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The webpage is missing some of the links mentioned in the worksheet, however, the activity may still be performed with those questions omitted.
  • This activity is suitable for an online learning environment.

About the Science

  • This resource utilizes satellite derived data to investigate snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • This activity has students investigate changes over time and draw conclusions from the data presented on the website.
  • This activity helps students learn how the satellite data is translated into visibly appealing maps that are user friendly.
  • This activity connects snow cover to the changing climate.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • This activity requires students to navigate the Rutgers University Global Snow Lab to answer questions about snow cover and draw conclusions from patterns they observe. They are then guided to develop their own research question.
  • Lesson can be completed as a group or individually.
  • Assessment opportunity for creative thinking and research skills through a student written statement.
  • This activity is self-guided with questions and directions on the worksheet.
  • There is some ambiguity about the navigation of the website and the way the questions are written.
  • This activity uses authentic real-time data.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Activity is well explained and easy to follow. Instructional guidance provided.
  • The page referenced in Question 7 no longer seems to be part of the Rutgers website. It may be possible to simply omit this part of the worksheet.

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