In the Classroom
K-12 Educator Resources
Ages 14 and up
Many people believe that, by now, every corner of the Earth has been explored. The reality is that much of our planet remains undiscovered, geographically and biologically. The polar regions of the Earth are arguably the least well-known parts of our planet, and for scientists, it offers the challenge, mystery and excitement that many find irresistible.
The Antarctic is not only home to penguins and seals, it is also home to a small community of scientists who inhabit research stations constructed on top of the rock and ice that make up the continent of Antarctica. But for scientists that wish to study the vast Southern Ocean that surrounds Antarctica, their temporary home is on large oceanographic research vessels, like the R/V Nathaniel B. Palmer (NBP). These vessels embark on research cruises that last weeks to months, where the days are filled with non-stop activity focused on one mission; study the polar ocean environment.
From May July, researchers from around the world will participate in a cruise to explore the northern regions of the Southern Ocean (a.k.a. the sub-Antarctic). During the ICEFISH cruise collect data and study a variety of aspects of the sub-Antarctic habitat. This cruise will build on previous cruises to the Southern Ocean that focused more on the waters around the Antarctic continent.
Curricula for Classroom Activities are available to teachers as they and their students track the cruise from May to July. More activities will be posted as the cruise continues. Teacher can use the ICEFISH cruise and related online resources as a tool to synthesize and assess previously addressed topics, as part of a stand-alone curriculum unit, or just as a fun example of how these topics are put to work in a real research expedition.
Activities: (all available as PDF)