Exploring Polar Science - 4-H Project Book

Jason Cervenec, Ohio State University-Main Campus

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This 4-H project book includes a series of eight activities, focused on polar science, that youth can complete with an parent or mentor. Each activity includes a hands-on component and options for communication. The activities featured are appropriate for use outside of 4-H, for instance in science classrooms, with after school programs, or during enrichment camps. Each activity includes links to supplemental materials to extend learning.

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These materials would be appropriate for informal STEM learning programs in the geosciences serving youth in upper elementary school, middle school, and high school. The booklet could be part of a structured program or completed individually by the youth with a parent or mentor.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Youth need to be able to read background information and instructions or have a mentor complete activities with them.

How the activity is situated in the course

The booklet can be completed as a stand-alone activity (there are eight activities within the booklet) or individual activities could be extracted from the booklet for use in classrooms and informal learning programs.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Geography of the poles and differences between the two regions; ice cores and gathering information about past climates; glacier motion and impact; living and working in polar regions; food webs; ecology of past and present; and sea ice and sea level rise

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Making and recording observations; drawing conclusions; and making personal connects between activities, experiences, and supplemental materials

Other skills goals for this activity

Communication; following instructions; leadership; civic engagement; taking action

Description and Teaching Materials

Each booklet includes notes to the parent/mentor and log for documenting activities at the start of the booklet. A glossary of key terms, selected answer keys, and a matrix describing all of the activities are at the end of the booklet.

Printed booklets may be purchased at cost by completing the web form at https://extensionpubs.osu.edu/exploring-polar-science/.

Teaching Notes and Tips

All of the instructions for completing the activities and extending learning are included in the booklet. Additional questions may be directed to Jason Cervenec at cervenec.1@osu.edu.


All activities include demonstrations of knowledge within the booklet or articulate products that youth need to create.

References and Resources

These materials were developed under NSF Grant No. 1906929.