Teacher's Guide for ODYSSEYTM Chilly Science: Ice & Snow Science
Think Tank (Discussion Starters to Use Before Reading the Magazine):
Article / Page
"Glaciers: Incredible Frozen Time Machines," pg. 6
"Dr. Lonnie Thompson: Glaciologist & Adventurer" (People to Discover), pg. 8
- Glaciers form because snow accumulates, compresses, and recrystallizes. They contain at least 75 percent of Earth's fresh water. Glaciologists extract cores to study global climates during the past 100,000 years. A sidebar (pg. 10) invites readers to use common items to discover how density explains floating and sinking. Another sidebar (pg. 11) shows how scientists calculate the total amount of ice on Earth.
- Vocabulary, Deductive Reasoning
"The Great Ice-Skating Competition! What's the Real Science Behind Skating?" pg. 12
- ODYSSEYTM interviews a man who has spent the past 30 years exploring mountaintop glaciers. He recently returned from a six-week expedition to Alaska.
- Vocabulary, Process Analysis
"Life Below Zero," pg. 14
- Using high-tech instruments, scientists have discovered an ice region called the "quasi-fluid layer." It's a microscopic boundary between ice and the surrounding air, and its existence challenges long-held theories of why ice-skating is possible. A sidebar (pg. 12) describes a canal in Ottawa, Canada, that - for three months each year - becomes the world's longest skating rink.
- Inductive Reasoning, Critical Thinking
"Freezing Physics" (Activity), pg. 16
- Deep within the Antarctic glacier reside bacteria, algae, and tiny animals that form an entire food web. A sidebar (pg. 17) catalogs the many names given to ocean ice. Another sidebar (pg. 18) tells of the discovery of ice on planets and moons in our solar system.
- Vocabulary, Adaptation and Diversity
"Water & Ice" (Brain Strain), pg. 19
- After mastering the physics of freezing-point depression, apply your knowledge to making ice cream!
- Process Analysis, Following Directions
"Recipe for Adventure . . . Arctic-style," pg. 20
- What would happen to the shoreline if the polar ice caps melted? Think it over carefully, as there are two plausible outcomes.
- Deductive Reasoning
"What Really Causes the Ice Ages?" pg. 24
- Life aboard a scientific research ship deliberately frozen into an ice floe presents daily challenges. Scientists hope to learn how the Arctic is responding to recent climatic warming trends. A sidebar (pg. 23) lists some differences between Earth's two polar regions.
- Scientific Process, Deductive Reasoning
"A Special Gift - The Legacy of 'Snowflake' Bentley," pg. 27
- Two theories seek to explain the cycles of glaciation that repeat on Earth every 100,000 years. Perhaps it's the precession (wobble) of the Earth's axis, or perhaps solar heating diminishes when Earth passes through a cloud of sunlight-orbiting space dust. A sidebar (pg. 25) defines the terms in the Ice Age debate.
- Inductive Reasoning, Vocabulary
"Make It Snow!" pg. 30
- Beginning when he was a teen in the 1880s, Wilson Bentley photographed thousands of snowflakes. He is credited with discovering much of what we know about them today. A sidebar (pg. 29) reveals how one woman used Bentley's photo to create quilts.
- Problem Solving, Observation
"Avalanche!" pg. 33
- Manufacturing snow requires machines, computers, and snowmaking experts. To fill in when nature's snow machine takes a vacation, the computer control room at Killington, Vermont, monitors temperature, humidity, steepness of slope, and the expected number of skiers. Follow up with a quiz on "Slope Slang" (pg. 32).
- Applications, Problem Solving
"The Worst Weather, the Best Place," pg. 36
- There are two common types of avalanches and three conditions that determine when they occur: terrain, weather, and snowpack. Professional avalanche forecasters post warnings, while avalanche controllers attempt to release dangerous snowpacks. A sidebar (pg. 34) dispels myths about avalanches. Another (pg. 35) describes training for the Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog Association.
- Deductive Reasoning, Web Research
"What's Up (including Planet Watch)," pg. 40
- A staff meteorologist for the Mt. Washington Observatory in New Hampshire works at subzero temperatures, with winds averaging 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph). She measures the temperature, relative humidity, dew point, and more.
- Scientific Methodology, Vocabulary
"Echoes of Greenland" (Fantastic Journeys), pg. 46
- December is the month of the winter solstice on the 21st and the Geminids meteor shower, peaking on the 13th and 14th. The Ursids meteor shower is best seen before dawn on the 22nd. An accompanying activity (pg. 42) simulates Saturn's rings with ice, dirt, and stones.
- Observation, Following Directions
"Ice Age Survivors" (Animal Angles), pg. 49
- When University of Kansas student Eve Lamborn accompanied scientists on an expedition to measure Greenland's ice sheet, she learned about caribou, marsh oxen, mosquitoes, and the native Inuit people.
- Processes of Scientific Inquiry, Vocabulary
- Welcome to the world of the musk ox, or oomingmak in the Inuit language. These animals have been around since the last ice age and, thanks to conservation efforts, they may be here for the next.
Classroom "Syzygy": Talk, Connect, Assess
- Take a poll of who likes hot weather best and who prefers cold weather. Brainstorm lists of reasons for both preferences. Make related lists of careers ideal for winter-loving "freeze-fiends."
- On the chalkboard, make two lists: (a) Questions about cold that might be answered scientifically; and (b) how those answers could be used for practical purposes. Start discussion with questions such as "Might cold studies on Earth help us prepare for space travel?" or "What can we learn now that might help us live through the next ice age?"
Pg. 6 - "Glaciers: Incredible Frozen Time Machines"
Far Out!: Moving Beyond the Magazine (Famous Quotes Edition)
pg. 20 - "Recipe for Adventure . . . Arctic-style"
- Talk It Over:
- What can we learn about our past from examining ice cores? What can we learn about our future? Finally, how can what we learn from ice cores to help us control the future of our planet?
- Does the career of a glaciologist sound exciting? What would be the advantages of having a job similar to Dr. Thompson's? What would be the disadvantages?
- Language Arts: Pretend that you are traveling in Alaska with Dr. Thompson. Write a letter home describing the past week. Use facts from the article and add a few imaginative touches of your own.
- History: In your library and on the Internet, research climatic and geologic events of that last 1,000 years that you think would leave a trace in an ice core taken from an Alaskan glacier. Draw an ice core diagram to scale. Use yarn and labels to show the events as they might be preserved in the ice core.
- Mathematics: Review the sidebar article, "How Much Ice Is There?" (pg. 11). Cut the top off a clean, empty, half-gallon milk carton. Fill it half full with fresh water. Use a grease pencil to mark the level of the water on the container's side. Then put the container in the freezer. After the water freezes, mark the new level on the side of the container. Devise a rough formula to show the relationship between the volume of fresh water and the volume of ice. Then estimate how much fresh water can be found on the Greenland ice sheet. (The conversion factor is approximately 0.9. For details, see www.secretsoftheice.org/icecore/sealevel.html.)
- Student Assessment:
- Describe, in your own words, how glaciers form and how they provide a record of Earth's past. Use appropriate terms from the article in your essay.
- Create a crossword puzzle, using as many of the glacier-related terms from the article as you can. Make sure your definitions and questions are clear. Switch puzzles with a classmate and solve.
- Talk It Over:
- Project SHEBA has scientists "ooh-ing and aah-ing." Why? What was it about this project that a scientist would find especially inviting? Why has it kept its appeal for years past its official end?
- At the end of the article, Perovich says, "That's as close as I'll ever get to standing on another planet." What did he mean? Should NASA be interested in Project SHEBA? How might a colony on another planet be similar to Project SHEBA? How might it be different?
- Creative Writing: Write the narration for a brief slide show describing Project SHEBA. Give accurate information about Ice Station SHEBA, describing the scenes so well that your listener won't need the visuals to "get the picture."
- History: Research another Arctic or Antarctic expedition. How was SHEBA similar? How was it different? Did the other expedition end in tragedy? If so, what was the reason? Draw a large Venn diagram, and use it to compare and contrast Project SHEBA and a past expedition.
- Graphic Design: Draw the general layout of buildings for Project SHEBA, including the location of Des Grosseilliers. Label as many buildings as you can. Then, review the article to see what some of the other buildings might be and label them. Make sure your labels not only identify a structure, but also describe its purpose.
- Student Assessment:
- What did the scientists of SHEBA hope to discover in their year-long experiment? Write your answer as an essay of several paragraphs. In each paragraph, explain one of the researchers' purposes and describe their methods for collecting data to achieve it.
- You have recently found out that you will be part of Project SHEBA. Now, suddenly, you hear that Congress is going to cut the funding for the project. Write a letter to your congressional representative recommending full funding. Make your reasons clear, well organized, and convincing.
"A lot of people like snow. I find it to be an unnecessary freezing of water." - Carl Reiner
Small-Group Collaborative Project: Organize the class into five teams. Challenge each team to research facts involving extreme cold. Ask Team One to find world records for cold temperatures. Team Two's assignment is to investigate the animal and plant life of extremely cold habitats. Team Three can find coldest points in the solar system and space. Team Four can find and describe amazing human feats involving cold. Let Team Five locate world records in winter sports and tell the stories behind them. Collect findings from all groups and create a bulletin board of "The Cold, Hard Facts."
"Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon and the deeper in sinks into the mind." - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Community Connection: Contact television stations and ask a local meteorologist to visit your class. A college may help if there is no television contact. Ask the meteorologist to tell your class about cold fronts, polar cycles, ice ages, global warming, and related topics.
"In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer." -Albert Camus
Whole-Class Project: Celebrate "Chill Day." Have someone demonstrate snow-boarding or skiing, discuss cold weather facts, hold an ice/snow sculpting contest, make popsicles, and watch the "chilliest" video you can find.
"A book must be an ice ax to break the frozen sea within us." - Franz Kafka
Large-Group Collaborative Project: Break the class into three groups. Ask one group to research past expeditions to the North and South Poles. Ask the second to research extreme cold in space travel. Challenge the third to learn and describe the medical consequences of exposure to the cold - and how doctors treat such cases. Each group should include two researchers, two presenters, and two designers who create the poster and support materials for a presentation. Share findings on a winter's day, perhaps serving hot chocolate to keep the exchange "heated."