Voyage of the Arctic Project
This is a two-week long project geared towards middle school earth science teachers. This should be used towards the end of a school year when students have background knowledge on the following topics: plate tectonics, climate/weather, land formations, and erosion and deposition. Students should also have practice with data analysis and interpretation. This project will follow guidelines outlined in the NGSS. Students will pretend that they are on a scientific research vessel on their way to a research outpost in Iceland to share their latest discoveries!
This project is designed for middle school Earth Science class.
Skills and concepts that students must have mastered
Students should have some background knowledge of plate tectonics, climate/weather, land formations, and erosion and deposition. Students should also have practice with data analysis and interpretation.
How the activity is situated in the course
This project is designed to be an end of year project with the ability to be used as stand-alone activities.
Content/concepts goals for this activity
This project will allow students to develop and practice the skills of inquiry, observation, relating cause and effect, data analysis and interpretation, and problem solving, as emphasized by the Next Generation Science Standards for Middle School. Along with these important skills, we hope this project will excite Middle School students and spur their curiosity!
Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
Students will use IODP data to complete a list of tasks and create a scientific presentation that can be in the form of a poster, a skit, a slideshow, a book, or other method determined by the teacher.
Other skills goals for this activity
Students will develop collaboration skills by working in a group, work on presentation and speaking skills, and practice time-management skills by working through each task of the project.
Description and Teaching Materials
Students will pretend that they are on a scientific research vessel on their way to a research outpost in Iceland to share their latest discoveries! Students will be in groups of 4-5 and will complete various tasks in order to move their ship closer to the outpost. All groups must reach Iceland by a certain deadline as determined by the teacher. The first group to get there may receive a prize as determined by the teacher (maybe that group gets to decide the order for the presentations). The teacher decides if the task is complete and if the group gets to move their ship forward or not.
This is a Word Doc that includes the entirety of the project so that you can edit the material to fit your classroom needs.
The Voyage of the Arctic Project (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 2.1MB Feb5 21)
Teaching Notes and Tips
This project is made to be used in its entirety OR as individual activities to supplement a lesson plan. Tasks 1-5 on the project document have two activity options, making 10 total activities that can be used individually or together as a whole.
The project document includes a rubric for grading the final project presentation.
References and Resources
See more resources for educators from IODP
Learn more about the International Ocean Drilling Program (IODP)