Lab 1: Getting to Know the Cryosphere

The lab activity described here was developed by Erin Bardar of TERC for the EarthLabs project.

Summary and Learning Objectives

In Part A of this lab, students will learn about the different components that make up the cryosphere and where they can be found on Earth. In Part B, they will be introduced to some of the ways climate and the cryosphere influence one another, as well as how and why scientists study changes in our planet's snow and ice. In Part C, students will learn about some of the ways that humans, plants, and animals are connected to and affected by the cryosphere.

After completing this investigation, students will be able to:

  • list the major components of the cryosphere
  • identify where snow and ice are found on Earth
  • explain the role of albedo in balancing Earth's radiation budget
  • give at least 3 examples of how the cryopshere impacts life on Earth
  • explain why scientists use the cryosphere to study climate
Open the Student Lab »




Overview and Teaching Materials

Detailed overview of what students will do in each lab activity, how long it will take, and what materials are required to complete the lab.

Printable Materials

Download and print files needed for each lab activity, including images, data tables, and Stop and Think questions.

Teaching Notes and Tips

General recommendations for classroom implementation as well as guidelines and facilitation tips for leading class discussions.

Student Notebooks

Suggestions for how to use Student Notebooks for Lab 1.

Assessment

There are several options for assessment of student understanding of material introduced in this lab. Choose from the following list, or create your own assessments.

Science Standards

Lab 1 supports the following Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS):

Additional Resources

Explore background information and content extensions related to Lab 1.