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Glaciers
http://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/glaciers

PhET Team, University of Colorado at Boulder

An interactive simulation that allows the user to adjust mountain snowfall and temperature to see the glacier grow and shrink in response.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

The interconnectedness of Earth’s systems means that a significant change in any one component of the climate system can influence the equilibrium of the entire Earth system. Positive feedback loops can amplify these effects and trigger abrupt changes in the climate system. These complex interactions may result in climate change that is more rapid and on a larger scale than projected by current climate models.
About Teaching Principle 2
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Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5b

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
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Sometimes, scientists can control conditions in order to obtain evidence. When that is not possible, practical, or ethical, they try to observe as wide a range of natural occurrences as possible to discern patterns.
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Sample lesson plan can be accessed here: http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/3133
  • Teachers are strongly encouraged to go through the activity sheet and simulation prior to using with students so that they understand what the students will be asked to do.

About the Science

  • Scientific tools are provided in this animation to measure thickness, glacier velocity, and glacial budget.
  • Simulation will help students understand glacier mass balances so that they are well prepared to discuss the effects of climate change on glaciers.

About the Pedagogy

  • Very easy and well-designed simulation with two different levels (introduction and advanced).
  • Can be used to meet the following learning goals: Explain how environmental conditions, temperature, and precipitation impact glacial mass budget; identify where snow accumulates in a glacier, and justify why; explain how ice moves within a glacier; describe and illustrate flow within a glacier; explain or illustrate glacial dynamics.
  • Supportive information, including a lesson plan, is available from the website.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Simulation can be run online, embedded, or downloaded.
  • Technically robust and well designed.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Sample lesson plan can be accessed here: http://phet.colorado.edu/en/contributions/view/3133

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