Ice Core Investigationsby: Michael Brody and Jessica Krim

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What can glaciers tell us about volcanoes and atmospheric conditions? How does this information relate to our understanding of climate change? Ice Core Investigations is an original and innovative activity that explores these types of questions. It brings together popular science issues such as research, climate change, ice core drilling, and air pollution to create a meaningful science learning experience for students.

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Reviews (4)
  • on Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:25 PM

The activity has the teacher generating ice cores for students to study and make determinations about the previous climate. Students use their observations to support their claims. This article has the potential to use science argumentation.

Susan German  (Hallsville, MO)
Susan German (Hallsville, MO)

  • on Mon May 06, 2013 3:39 PM

Students learn about global climate change by studying ice core samples made by the teacher. Directions are given for creating these samples. Students are provided with a variety of tools they can choose from. The students must record Layer thickness, volume, mass, presence of particulates, mass of particulates, and pH. From there results students make predictions about the nature of the years to decide about climate change. This looks like an exciting lab but a bit of work for the teacher to create the core samples.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:29 PM

This is a wonderful example of a hands on investigation that students can perform when studying climate change, acids or bases, or water quality. I am going to use it with my earth science class when we study glaciers. Teachers using this investigation do need to plan ahead as it does require extensive prep time. I am going to make my ice cores over the holiday break and keep them in my deep freeze until I need them.

Ruth Hutson  (Westmoreland, KS)
Ruth Hutson (Westmoreland, KS)

  • on Tue Apr 12, 2011 6:22 PM

In this very clever activity, the teacher creates ice cores for students to investigate so that they can see that there are actual layers and to do experiments with those layers. The authors set out a set of sample procedures for those who are not comfortable with inquiry but point out that giving students the goals will eventually lead them to determining the same procedures on their own. I do something similar with soil layers/horizons but I never thought to extend it to ice cores - very nice way to show students how data is collected on paleoclimates!

Tina Harris  (Fairmount, IN)
Tina Harris (Fairmount, IN)

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