- Lesson One: Our Unique Atmosphere
- Lesson Two: Emissions of Heat-Trapping Gasses
- Lesson Three: Communities of Living Things
- Lesson Four: Implications of Warming the Arctic
- Lesson Five: Regional Effects of Global Warming
- Lesson Six: What Now?
Use the preview below to look inside the Activities (a sample only):Get your copy of the Will Steger Foundation Educator Resource Binder
Action Resources and a collection of hands-on activities linked to the Grades 3-12 Lesson Plans.
View exciting educational video footage, audio footage, and written journal entries from Will Steger and partner expeditions to the Polar Regions, documenting the impact of global warming on the Arctic environment. Expeditions are linked to lesson plans for grades 3-12 and activities via the Educator Resources index.
- Union of Concerned Scientists
- Pew Center on Global climate Change
- Real Climate - a forum for climate scientists
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
- US Government research on climate change
- Climate vs. Weather
- NRDC climate education center
- Former Asst. Secretary of Energy, Joseph Romm interprets climate science and policy
- Former NYT journalist, Andrew Revkin
- Climate Change Education - Portal Web Site Dedicated to: Global Warming Education, Climate Change Education Science, Solutions.
- Grist - How to talk to climate skeptic
- Pew - Realities vs. misconceptions about the science of climate change
- Union of Concerned Scientists - Global Warming Contrarians
The following resources can be used to supplement the existing Will Steger Foundation Curriculum. Resources include links to external sites that contain helpful related information and activities, and clips from the Will Steger Foundation video and audio archives that can be connected with specific lesson plan topics.
Another word for “scientist” is investigator. Scientists look at the world and find gaps in our understanding of how things work and they design investigations to try to figure out the answers to questions. The results of every experiment and the data from every project are like pieces in a puzzle; the more pieces we get the better our understanding.
The polar regions interest scientists because nowhere on earth is the climate is changing more dramatically or more rapidly. Melting polar ice caps and surging glaciers can impact global climate and ocean circulation and raise sea levels. Melting permafrost can release stored carbon. Many birds and other animals migrate to the Arctic during its summer to feed and raise their young. Arctic peoples live close to the land and sense its changes. Scientists want to investigate these and other questions related to the polar regions.
The settlements in the High Arctic are home to many scientific projects. Resolute, on the south coast of Cornwallis Island is the base for the Polar Continental Shelf Project and home to a weather station. Eureka, on Ellesmere Island, operates a weather station that researches the ozone layer, weather, northern lights, long-range transport of pollutants, and climate change. At the northern tip of Ellesmere Island, Alert, the most northerly permanent settlement in the world, scientists study air chemistry, ozone, air pollution and weather. The Global Warming 101 expedition visited some of these communities. Read up on what the expedition discovered here.
The international scientific community declared March 2007 to March 2009 the International Polar Year and will be focusing efforts on investigating the atmosphere, ice, land, oceans, people and space. The IPY needs youth and young scientists to help in this global effort. Visit www.ipy.org/ to find out more about ongoing projects.
- What do you want to know about the climate in your home region?
- How could you investigate your questions?
In 1995 explorer Will Steger left Siberia, crossed the frozen Arctic Ocean over the North Pole and arrived at northern Canada’s Ward Hunt ice shelf, the largest ice sheet in the Arctic. An ice shelf is a glacier that extends out over the ocean, floating on the surface of the water. Early explorer Robert Peary first recorded observations of the Ward Hunt ice sheet in the early 1900s. By comparing Peary’s records to modern observations, Steger knew that the ice sheet had been shrinking. In 2002 the Ward Hunt ice sheet broke apart. Steger and other explorers witness these changes and help draw public attention to the changing climate of the polar regions.
Steger’s 2008 expedition to the High Arctic will focus attention on the remnants of Ellesmere Island’s Ayles ice shelf which broke apart in 2005. Pieces of what was once the Ayles ice shelf are now floating down the coast of Ellesmere Island.
A new generation of polar explorers is emerging. Six of these young people are accompanying Will Steger on his Global Warming 101 expedition to Ellesmere Island in the Canadian high Arctic. Meet these young explorers and follow their expedition.
Some early expeditions were successful in reaching the High Arctic. The first explorers’ confidence in western methods and the technology of the day, however, did not prepare them for the harsh Arctic conditions.
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