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Arctic and Antarctic Classroom Resources

This collection of lessons and web resources is aimed at classroom teachers, their students, and students' families. Most of these resources come from the National Science Digital Library (NSDL). NSDL is the National Science Foundation's online library of resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. See

Athropolis Links
Resource: Children (Elementary)
Athropolis is a Web site devoted to informing children about the polar regions through games, puzzles, stories, songs, virtual library, etc. Imaginary characters and the story line are targeted toward elementary students. Very interesting and fun.

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears
Resource: Educator (grades K-5)
This free online magazine connects the elementary school science and literacy curriculum to polar science. Professional development articles, lesson plans, images, formative assessment probes, a virtual bookshelf, researcher profiles, and books (in three formats) written for students in grades K-5 are found in each thematic issue.

Resource: Educator (grades K-5)
This Web site is divided into four unique sites: Polar Foundation (corporate), SciencePoles (scientific), EducaPoles (education), and ExploraPoles (adventure) and provides information on the Artic and Antartic for everyone.

Penguin Science
Resource: Educator (Grades K-8)
Here you will find fun and educational activities to help students learn about Adelie Penguin life, history and their relationship to climate change. Students can check the nests of penguins as they raise the chicks (from Oct-Jan), receive a postcard from Antarctica, or send us a flag to fly! There are limited opportunities to schedule a video conference for K-8 classrooms with the scientists in Antarctica between October and January.

Teachers' Domain Polar Sciences Collection
Resource: Educator (grades K-12)
In this collection of media resources, Teachers' Domain, a Pathways project of the National Science Digital Library, provides information about the polar regions including a lesson plan and student activity. Learn about the Arctic, the Antarctic, and why scientists are so interested in studying Earth's polar regions. This lesson targets grades 6-12.

The Antarctic Sun
Resource: Educator (grades 6-12)
The Antarctic Sun is a publication posted on the Web site at McMurdo Station in Antarctica for the United States Antarctic Program. It provides information about the inhabitants (human and animal), the geographical location and scientific projects on and under the ice in Antarctica.

Resource: Educator (Grades 6-12)
PolarTREC (Teachers and Researchers Exploring and Collaborating) is a program in which K-12 teachers spend 3-6 weeks participating in hands-on field research experiences in the polar regions. The goal of PolarTREC is to invigorate polar science education and understanding by bringing K-12 educators and polar researchers together.

Resource: Educator (Grades 6-8)
A program designed to connect scientists, educators, and students using data and research from the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Designed for middle-school students, teachers have an opportunity to implement polar science modules in their classrooms and connect with scientists in the Arctic and Antarctic.
NSF award PLR 1525635

Paleomap Project
Resource: Educator (grades 6-12)
This Web site provides information and maps on plate tectonics. Readers view paleographic maps of the Earth's history and climate history to view how our planet looked during various periods in time and the climatic changes that took place. The site also provides an opportunity to look into future up to 250 million years from now to view global changes. Teaching materials and software to activate animations are for sale on this site.

Dinosaurs on Ice
Resource: Educator (grades 4-6)
This Web page from the National Science Foundation's Web site features a short article and video describing the discovery of Cryolophosaurus, a meat-eating dinosaur from the early Jurassic Period and the first dinosaur skeleton excavated from Antarctica. The Video could be used in a classroom in grades 4-6 to supplement polar curricula.

POP Goes Antarctica?
Resource: Educator (grades 4-8)
Susan Cowles follows a team of scientists from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) as they study the presence of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Antarctic. The site is informative through Cowles daily diary and with high quality images the reader developes a sense of what the Antartic life is like. The current time and temperature feature makes the user feel like they are in real time.

Resource: Educator (Grades 8-12)
Learn about the study of phenology - the seasonal dynamics of plants and animals - in the Arctic to understand ecological impacts of climate change. Opportunities for participation in teacher workshops that allow classrooms to join an ongoing Arctic research project focused on phenology.