Yes Sir, That's My Baby Glacier!

Christopher Roemmele, Purdue University-Main Campus
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Students will create their own glacier, and explore their effect on the land, modeling how they melt, how they move, and erode and deposit sediment. Students will be able to determine and describe isostatic rebound, create and identify common glacial landforms such as moraines, drumlins, erratics, kettle lakes, and striations, and explain the role glaciers play in landscape development and how climate change may impact glaciers and their related features.

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This activity is ideal for upper middle school and high school earth science classes and introductory geology courses for non-majors.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Determine/calculate density and speed rates.
Basic glacier landforms nomenclature.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is typically done during and near the completion of a unit on glaciers, it is usually done as a lab but takes two or three days to complete, or with undergraduates could be completed within a two to three hour lab section.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Glacier mechanics and landform development.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Analyze and interpret data, development of a physical, hands-on model, compare-contrast analog model and scale, cause and effect.

Other skills goals for this activity

collaborative group learning, measurement using various lab equipment

Description and Teaching Materials

This activity has been described in the November 2015 of NSTA Science Scope.
Yes Sir, That's My Baby Glacier (Microsoft Word 54kB May31 17)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Please refer to the Science Scope article that describes this activity, as it lists several teacher and student tips.


Participation and completion of all segments of the lab activity, responses to lab handout questions.

References and Resources

The November 2015 NSTA Science Scope article I wrote with my colleague can guide teachers through the process of this activity.