The primary goal of this scientist-supported activity is to generate information and excitement about careers in the field of ice core research. Like astronauts, polar research scientists and engineers may travel to remote regions, work in extreme conditions and have experiences that profoundly affect their view of earth and our responsibility for it. Hearing from someone who is passionate about their career firsthand is one way for you to help your students to begin to define directions for their own future and to expose them to real climate science in action.


Key Concepts: Ice core research has yielded definitive data about climate patterns over the past 800,000 years, including the discovery that climate can change abruptly, in as little as 10 years. Evidence from diverse atmospheric indicators frozen in the ice is fueling models to help better predict the future. Working in this field is important and exciting!


Target Grade Levels: Middle and High School


Background: Checking Out Your Team is based on a partnership model, in which you oversee the preparation of your students for speaking with a scientist in a way that empowers them and puts them in the driver’s seat. The Ice Drilling Program Office (IDPO) Director of Education and Outreach is available via email to discuss your goals for the activity and to answer any questions in advance. The scientist or engineer presenter is responsible for simulating the role of someone being investigated by a research project team, for delivering a presentation to your class and for answering detailed content and process questions. The presentation is built on an inquiry framework, to model research processes appropriately for your students, and addresses the protocols, guidelines and standards that follow.

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