This is a multi-faceted activity that offers students a variety of opportunities to learn about permafrost through an important sink and source of greenhouse gas (methane), about which most students living in lower latitudes know little.
This video describes how concentrating solar power (CSP) technologies reflect and collect solar energy to generate electricity. This video explains what CSP is, how it works, and focuses on parabolic troughs.
Students go through the design process and the scientific method to test the effect of blade design on power output. There is an optional extension to use the data to create an optimal set of wind turbine blades.
This video features the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment Experiment near Cheyenne WY, where scientists expose mixed-grass prairie to higher temperatures and CO2 concentrations to study impacts on the prairie for late in this century.
This video montage of spectacular NASA satellite images set to music shows different types of ice and ice features as well as descriptions of satellite-based measurements of ice cover. Text captioning provides guidance as to issues related to changing global ice cover and its measurement.
This multi-week project begins with a measurement of baseline consumptive behavior followed by three weeks of working to reduce the use of water, energy, high-impact foods, and other materials. The assignment uses an Excel spreadsheet that calculates direct energy and water use as well as indirect CO2 and water use associated with food consumption. After completing the project, students understand that they do indeed play a role in the big picture. They also learn that making small changes to their lifestyles is not difficult and they can easily reduce their personal impact on the environment.