Alaska Sea Grant

Investigations

Investigation 5 - Explaining Impacts of a Warming Climate

Class Time Required

8-12 class periods

Materials Needed

  • Science notebooks
  • Digital Story rubricImage
  • Internet access
  • Computer and appropriate software for each student group
  • Digital cameras, video cameras if available
  • Drawing materials

Teacher Preparation

1-3 hours to read materials, watch videos, research and provide resources to students

Prior Student Knowledge

Completion of Investigations 1-4. Experience with iMovie, Photo Story 3, Powerpoint, or other digital story applications would be helpful.    

Vocabulary

concise, storyboard, succinct 
Science GLEs Addressed

6th Grade: SA1.1, SA3.1 SE2.2

7th Grade: SA1.1, SA3.1

8th Grade: SA1.1, SE3.1

star Overview: In this culminating activity, students will share their knowledge of the impacts of a warming climate with others by creating a digital story of the potential effects of a warming climate in their community, the Arctic, and/or the Bering Sea.
 

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Investigation 4 - Changes in Our Local Environment

Class Time Required

9-11 class periods

Materials Needed

  • Science notebooks

Teacher Preparation

One hour to read through the investigation and choose videos. Copy worksheet. Additional time required to enlist volunteers and scan photos if necessary.

Prior Student Knowledge

Experience with photo comparison (Investigation 2)

Vocabulary

none
Science GLEs Addressed

6th Grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA3.1

7th Grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA3.1, SF1.1-SF3.1

8th Grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SF1.1-SF3.1

Selected by CLEANThis investigation has been selected as an NSF-funded Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) educational resource.


map Overview: Students interview elders or other long-term residents of the community to document their knowledge of local changes to the landscape and climate. Based on the information and photos they acquired from the interview, students return to photo locations to observe and record changes. Finally, they develop ideas about potential impacts of a warming climate to the ecosystem that surrounds them.

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Investigation 3 - Bering Sea Expedition

Class Time Required

6-8 class periods

Materials Needed

  • Science notebooks

Teacher Preparation

1 hour to read through the WebQuest, check links and copy the rubric. Recruit volunteers to serve on the Symposium committee.

Prior Student Knowledge

Internet research experience, concept mapping

Vocabulary

abiotic, bathemetry, biotic, crustacean, justification, phytoplankton, plankton, rookery, salinity, turbidity
Science GLEs Addressed

6th Grade: SA1.1, SC3.2, SE2.2, SE3.1

7th Grade: SA1.1,  SE2.2

8th Grade: SA1.1, SC3.1, SE 2.2

Selected by CLEANThis investigation has been selected as an NSF-funded Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) educational resource.


BeringSeaOverview: In this 6-8 day investigation, students use a WebQuest activity to research the effects of melting sea ice in the Bering Sea Ecosystem. The students create research proposals to earn a place on the scientific research vessel Healy, and present their findings and proposals to a "Research Board committee".

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Investigation 2 - Impacts of Change in Glacier Ice

Class Time Required

Total: 9-11 class periods
Activity 2A: 90-120 minutes (2 class periods)
Activity 2B: 90-120 minutes (2 class periods plus possible extensions
Activity 2C: 70-110 minutes (1.5 -2 class periods)
Activity 2D: 125-150 minutes (2.5-3 class periods)
Activity 2E: 60-100 minutes (1-2 class periods) 

Materials Needed

  • Science notebooks

Activity 2B: Melting Ice
Water, plastic cups, clay or wood, ice cubes, permanent markers

Activity 2C: Stream Table
Stream table

Activity 2D Transparency/Turbidity:
beakers, powdered milk, ruler, string, plastic container, lid, nail, duct tape, nuts or washers, water, permanent markers, pencil, data sheet, Transparency/Turbidity Lab instructions Image

Activity 2E Glacier game:
Dice (1 per game board), game markers, sticky notes
Internet access, Glacier Game Board #1Image or Glacier Game Board #2Image

Teacher Preparation

About 2 hours to read materials, gather supplies, and prepare student materials.

Prior Student Knowledge

Knowledge of effect of melting sea ice (from Investigation 1), experience or instruction in concept mapping

Vocabulary

ablation, advance, aspect, copepod, crevasse, equilibrium, euphotic, firn, isostatic rebound, recede, retreat, terminus, transparency, turbidity
Science GLEs Addressed

6th Grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA3.1, SB1.1, SB3.1, SC1.2, SC3.2, SD2.3, SE2.1, SE2.2

7th Grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA3.1, SB1.1, SE2.2

8th Grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA2.1, SE 2.2, SE3.1

Selected by CLEANThis investigation has been selected as an NSF-funded Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) educational resource.


glacierOverview: In this 9-11 day investigation, students explore ways that changing climate can affect physical and biological conditions in rivers, the ocean, and other aquatic ecosystems. Activity 2A: Changing Landscape asks students to analyze “repeat photographs” (taken from the same vantage point at different times) of Alaska glaciers to observe the effects of retreating glaciers on the landscape. In Activity 2B: Melting Ice, students conduct a simulation to investigate the effect of melting glaciers on sea level. In Activity 2C, Stream Table, students simulate increasing stream flows that result from melting glaciers and observe the effects on the landscape and water quality. In Activity 2D: Transparency/Turbidity students construct a mini Secchi disk to investigate transparency and the effects of increased turbidity from the increased flows as glaciers melt on aquatic and marine ecosystems.
Finally, they play a board game in Activity 2E: Glacier Game to review the effects of retreating glaciers and increasing stream flows and erosion on river, coastal, and ocean ecosystems.

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Investigation 1 - Ch-ch-ch-changes

Class Time Required

5-6 class periods

Materials Needed

  • Science notebooks

Teacher Preparation

30 minutes to read through investigation and background and watch video. 30 minutes to gather materials and prepare handouts.

Prior Student Knowledge

Experience in graphing data

Vocabulary

albedo, arctic, fluctuate, scatterplot, thermal expansion
Science GLEs Addressed

6th Grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SE2.2

7th Grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SE2.2, SG3.1

8th Grade: SA1.1, SA1.2, SA2.1, SD2.1, SE 2.2, SE3.1, SG3.1

Selected by CLEANThis investigation has been selected as an NSF-funded Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) educational resource.


sea ice Overview: This 5-6 day investigation challenges students to think about how sea ice is changing and the effects of a warming climate on sea level in Alaska. Students begin by viewing a presentation showing a Native Alaskan talking about the importance of ice to his life and his culture. They then view a series of photos and headlines about shrinking sea ice. In Activity 1A: Arctic Sea Ice Data, students graph data on sea ice extent over time. In Activity 1B: Melting Sea Ice and Sea Level, students participate in a lab activity that simulates the melting of sea ice, and create a flip book of images of the change in sea ice extent over time. Activity 1C: Temperature and Sea Level Rise demonstrates the thermal expansion of seawater as one process that could contribute to sea level rise.

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