In this experiment, students construct models to determine if land or sea ice contributes more to sea level rise.
Students monitor melting ice cubes and rising water levels in their models. Then, they record data and evaluate their predictions.
There is a student project page to walk students through the experiment with a helpful video tutorial.
This experiment requires minimal materials.
The teacher will need to freeze ice cubes ahead of time and use a tray that ensures they are uniform.
Students should understand climate change and how it contributes to melting ice and sea level rise.
It may benefit students to discuss how sea level rise impacts coastal communities.
Spanish subtitles are available for the video tutorial.
Students should know how to use a ruler and keep track of time in minutes.
Teachers can discuss other implications caused by fast-melting ice, such as flooding, drought, and positive feedback loops.
To make writing connections, have students write down their hypotheses and support them with evidence and reasoning.
Teachers can make math connections by having students graph their data from the student worksheet.
This resource is from the CLEAN collection. “The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness.”
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS2: Earth's Systems
MS-ESS2-4 Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth's systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
2-ESS2-3 Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.
3-ESS2-2 Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
5-ESS2-1 Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
Measurement & Data (K-5)
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.A.1 Measure the length of an object by selecting and using appropriate tools such as rulers, yardsticks, meter sticks, and measuring tapes.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.A.4 Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.2.MD.D.9 Generate measurement data by measuring lengths of several objects to the nearest whole unit, or by making repeated measurements of the same object. Show the measurements by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in whole-number units.
CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.MD.B.4 Generate measurement data by measuring lengths using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch. Show the data by making a line plot, where the horizontal scale is marked off in appropriate units— whole numbers, halves, or quarters.