View All Content

Virtual Field Labs – Sea Level Rise with Dr. David Harwood

Using tiny clues from the past to predict sea levels in our current climate reality.

Virtual Field Labs – Climate Clues from the Past with Dr. Meredith Kelly

Dr. Meredith Kelly looks at geologic clues from the end of the last ice age for insight into how our current ice sheets may respond to the rapid warming of our planet. These videos are part of the U.S. Ice Drilling Program's School of Ice Virtual Field Lab series.

Virtual Field Labs – Abrupt Climate Disruptions with Dr. Erich Osterberg

Dr. Erich Osterberg explores abrupt climate disruptions in the past as a way to predict the abrupt climate changes we can expect in the future. These videos are part of the U.S. Ice Drilling Program's School of Ice Virtual Field Lab series.

Video Links from the Ice Drilling Program Education & Outreach + Ice Core Researchers

IDP-EO and ice core researchers have created many videos for use in classrooms.

To the Ends of the Earth: Comparing the Arctic and Antarctic

Going to the “ends of the Earth” takes you to the Arctic and the Antarctic. This activity engages students in sorting picture cards comparing similarities and differences between the Polar Regions in a table-sized Venn Diagram.

Thermohaline Circulation and Rapid Climate Change: Greenland is Melting

In this investigation, we will analyze how the density of the ocean surrounding Greenland may change as a result of increasing amounts of meltwater coming off the Greenland Ice Sheet.

The Stink Test: Validating Resources

In a time when evidence based information is questioned, it is imperative that we teach our students how to recognize whether a source is valid or not. The STINK Test gives them the tools to do just that.

The Long Haul–Ice Core Challenge: Keeping Ice Cores Frozen from Field to Lab

Students’ primary task in this activity is to design a container that will keep an ice core from melting over time AND to do so while spending the least amount of "money."

Subglacial Lakes: What’s happening under the ice sheets?

Students observe a subglacial lake model and measure changes in temperature, salinity and sea level rise as the glaciers/ice sheets and subglacial lakes melt.. Students will move from the small model to discussions of implications for Earth systems.

Slip Sliding Away: Exploring glacier dynamics

Students explore how glaciers move by using “glacier goo/flubber,” (a polymer made with glue and Borax solution) whose properties model the movement of glacial ice. Through an open or guided inquiry, students make a hypothesis and then test their ideas.

Reflection Activities: Reflect on a lesson or unit of study

Ideas for how to get students to reflect on a lesson or unit of study.

Polar Science and Engineering: Drilling Back Through Time

This activity is offered as a means of introducing students to the Scientific and Engineering Practices, as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Nature vs. Science: The Hypothesis Card Game

Students play a game of cards to learn how scientists study nature.

Life Cores: How do we know what we know about the science of ice cores?

By building a personal “life core,” students are introduced to some of the techniques and vocabulary used by scientists as they study ice cores.

Land Ice/Sea Ice/Grounded Ice

Land Ice/Sea Ice/Grounded Ice: How does melting ice affect sea level?

Ice Core Lab: Natural Variability: Paleoclimate on Millennial Timescales

This lab is an engaging hands-on activity demonstrating that CO2 is a direct measurement while hydrogen isotopes are used as a proxy for temperature measurements. Through the study of ice cores, scientists have developed a continuous record of CO2 and temperature records going back 800,000 years. Requires freezer space and several days of freezing time.

Ice Core Drilling Display

This activity is offered as a means of introducing students to the Scientific and Engineering Practices, as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Engineering Challenge: Designing a Portable Drilling Rig

This activity is offered as a means of introducing students to the Scientific and Engineering Practices, as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Decoding Ice Cores: Proxy and Direct Measurement (2 Labs)

Two-part lab Lab: #1--direct measurements are used to compare the history recorded in an ice core to the history recorded in a tree ring. Lab #2--proxy models will be developed from direct measurements to be used to reveal climate conditions thousands of years in the past.

Decoding Ice Cores: Atmospheric Analysis

In this lab, the relative amount of CO2 in melted "ice core samples" will be determined using a conductivity meter. Then students will graph their results and compare to the 800,000 ice core record.

Decoding Ice Cores–Isotopic Analysis–How warm was the Earth in the past?

In this lab we will use 5-pennies to model water molecules sampled from each of 11 different “ice core layers” dating from the present to almost 500,000 years ago. The goal is to determine the temperature of climate in the past by comparing the average isotopic mass of the water molecules in the ice cores to the standard average isotopic mass of water from the ocean. Students will then compare their results to the 800,000 year ice core record.

Albedo: Measuring the Reflective Properties of Different Surfaces

Students will measure the albedo and surface temperature of various ice mixtures and the changing properties as the ice melts over time. Students will move from understanding what albedo is, to the larger scale of its role in Earth's energy budget.