Welcome to Discovering the Arctic, an education resource for schools, developed by the Royal Geographical Society with IBG, in partnership with the British Antarctic Survey and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Scottish Association for Marine Science. This is not a 'scheme of work' but a resource to dip into depending on your curriculum needs and priorities. It is aimed at GCSE level in England and Wales (14 - 16 year olds) but is suitable for other age groups with some adaptation.
Each of the site's sections is divided into:
- 'Pole position' Learning activities to introduce the topic
- 'Cool running' Main learning activities
- 'Polar pitstop' Follow-up learning activities to extend the topic or to review and reinforce the main activities
The learning activities are devised for individual, pair or group work. Many are in interactive multimedia format for use either on an Interactive Whiteboard or for students to complete individually.
Wherever possible there are text-based alternatives, usually in Microsoft Word. You can download these to use away from the computer and/or to adapt them to meet your students' needs. Go to Help for more technical help on using and adapting the site.
Each section includes:
- A 'cool fact' that relates to the topic
- Downloads of featured information sheets (in PDF or Word), images
- A list of all the featured interactive multimedia activities
- Appropriate links to other sites
- Interviews with the people who live and work in the Arctic
Notes on each chapter for information and tips on the activities in each section to help you plan how to use the site:
- Climate change
- Living on the edge
- Arctic science
- Hunter or hunted?
- Postcard from the edge
- Troubled waters
- Resources from the edge
- Arctic Circumpolar Governance
Download a brief summary of the links to the UK geography curriculum and a more detailed analysis of the links to the English KS3 national curriculum and KS4 GCSE specifications from 2009.
Download a brief summary of links to the UK 11 - 16 science curriculum and a more detailed analysis of the links to the English KS3 and KS4 national curriculum.
Using the whole site
Students could work in groups on various themes, some run through the site such as the lives of indigenous people and climate change, others are more self contained in the individual sections, such as mineral resource exploitation. They could then present their findings to the rest of the class.
Examples of presentations made by students at an event on 10 July 2009 at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) following various themes can be seen below.
- Bullers Wood School, Chislehurst (5.6mb)
- King Edward VI Grammar School (Boys), Chelmsford (1.1mb)
- King Edward VI Grammar School (Boys), Chelmsford (2) (1.2mb)
- Archbishop Tenison's School, Kennington (12.4mb)
- Greenford High School, Middlesex (868kb)
Webcams are a good way of comparing places and weather. 24hour webcams can illustrate the seasons and the changing amount of night and day across the Arctic.
A selection is provided. Some take a while to load.
- www.svalbard.com/webcam/ directory of all webcams located on the Svalbard
- sermitsiaq.gl/icecam/ showing the changing landscape of Greenland ice sheets
- NOAA Arctic Theme Page, webcam is intermittent but there is a good archive www.arctic.noaa.gov/gallery_np.html
- www.arctic.noaa.gov/npole/gallery_np_selectall.php (Archive)
- www.polarwebcam.com/ Norilsk City, Russia
- 184.108.40.206/sample/LvAppl/lvappl.htm Little Diomedes, Alaska
- www.the-webcam-network.com/Iceland/Akurey/1110429.html Webcams across Iceland
- www.rovaniemi.fi/Kansainvalinen_sivusto/English/Webcam.iw3 Various sites in Rovaniemi, Finland
- www.kimmirutweather.com Images from Kimmirut, Canada
- weather.cs.uit.no/ Tromso, Norway
In Autumn 2011 the BBC will be screening a new major series on BBC1 called Frozen Planet about both Poles. Some preview excerpts are located throughout this site. The full site can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mfl7n
Other examples of footage can be found at Earth Explorers: http://www.bbc.co.uk/earthexplorers/