During IPY, NASA will study the polar regions of Earth, as well as explore the poles of Mars and the moon. Image Credit: NASAIPY is a coordinated effort by the international science and education communities to learn more about the polar regions and how they impact the rest of the world, including people. The campaign runs for two years, from March 2007 to March 2009, to allow for two field seasons of Arctic and Antarctic research.
-- Comparison of Snow Cover on Different Continents → -- Students in grades 4-8 map snow cover on each continent for a given date. They compare the maps with corresponding numerical data, and estimate what percentage of each continent is covered by snow.POLAR-PALOOZA
-- Snow Cover by Latitude → -- Students in grades 6-8 create and compare graphs showing how snow cover changes along a given latitude.
-- Trends of Snow Cover and Temperature in Alaska → -- Students in grades 9-12 compare satellite data with ground measurements to examine trends in snow cover and temperature in Alaska.
Explore the polar regions with the educational materials supporting POLAR-PALOOZA. Image Credit: NASAPOLAR-PALOOZA → is a multimedia effort to explain the importance of the polar areas and clear up misconceptions some people may have about them. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and NASA, the project brings the poles to life through stories told by scientists who travel to and study them, and through the following hands-on classroom activities:
-- Life in the Cold and Dark: Penguin Adaptation → -- Students use plastic bags, vegetable shortening and ice water to simulate the blubber of Antarctic whales, seals and penguins. They also design an original marine animal that is well adapted for the cold, making a picture of it or modeling it with play dough or clay.Satellite Observations in Science Education
-- Graphing Thermal Expansion of Water & Greenhouse Gases → -- Students use a flask, cold water, lamp and thermometer to demonstrate thermal expansion of water, a factor that may contribute to future sea-level rise. They also graph yearly concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and analyze trends in the data.
-- Differential Effects of Melting Ice Sheets → -- Students use water, ice cubes and a container to show how melting land ice affects sea-level rise differently than melting sea ice.
Find science resources for the K-12 classroom at Windows to the Universe. Image Credit: Windows to the UniverseWindows to the Universe → is a Web site featuring educational information on Earth and space science topics written at three different reading levels -- elementary, middle and high school. The Earth's Polar Regions → section covers topics including polar geography and geology, the polar atmosphere and oceans, polar life, climate change in polar regions, and Arctic cultures. The section also has polar games, classroom activities and virtual postcards from polar scientists in the field.