Module 1 • Arctic Exploration: Case Study: Fact Finder
Activity 1-7.2
4. Students dig snow pits and record data following the instructions
Materials
on Student Page 1-7.2a “NASA Snow Pit.” Upon completion, return
continued:
to class for discussion.
No snow:
5. Teams complete a graph of the relationship between snow depth
- Student Page 1-7.2b
and temperature.
“I, The Snowflake”
- Teacher Notes 1-7.2a
“Making a Snow Storm”
different heights. Was the temperature at the bottom of the snow-
- Teacher Notes 1-7.2b
pack warmer? Is there consistency among the various sites with
“Snow Metamorphism”
regard to snow depth and snow temperature? Were the results
- Large can
consistent with student predictions? How might this data be
- Small can
explained?
- Ice
Have teams share what was visually observed about snow layers
- Salt
when slicing through the snow bank. Were any hard layers discern-
- Optional dry ice
able? How might layers be explained?
6. As a class or in teams go to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Vocabulary:
Administration (NOAA) interactive Snow Information Map at http://
depth hoar, snow density,
metamorphism, climate,
and zoom in on your particular area. In the upper left corner, select
snow crystals
physical environment: Snow Depth. Compare student results and
discuss variables and that the measurements illustrated on the map
Assessment:
are images of data obtained from satellites.
Upon completion of this
In effect, what the students have just done is exactly one of the ele-
activity students should:
ments of what the team in the field and Dr. Foster and NASA are
doing. The team groundtruths the satellites for Dr. Foster to see if
tions digging a snow
the map generated from the data obtained by the satellites is accu-
pit to record snow data
rate. If not, the satellites need be calibrated with new mathemati-
(Students Page 1-7.2a
cal formulas.
“NASA Snow Pit”).
- Analyze field findings
7. Students share observations—graphing, images, conclusions—in
and draw conclusions
Collaboration Zone 01 in Explore at PolarHusky.com to be displayed
using the scientific
on the Observations Map.
method.
Extension: Join the Snowflake Network! GoNorth! is collaborating
- Compare field data with
with NASA in an effort to have students collect and classify snow
satellite data.
flakes around the world to support NASA scientists in their research - Share observations in
missions. See the Snow section of Investigate in Logistics at
Collaboration Zone 01.
PolarHusky.com for instruction, data sheets, and movie tutorial.
It’s easy!
*This activity was adapted from Northern Climate Change Schools Program’s
“Conducting a Snow Study Pit”
PolarHusky.com