Activity details: In this activity, students learn about the different causes of sea level rise. Students conduct experiments that demonstrate how ice shelf melting may not directly affect sea levels, but how ice cap melting would. Students use maps and geometry to estimate the volume of the Greenland ice cap and then, after doing some examples, they calculate the rise in sea level that would result if the entire ice cap were to melt. Students may then conduct further research to investigate the consequences of the sea cap melting for humans and other elements of our environment.
Key lessons and understandings of activity:
- Students demonstrate that sea level rises can occur via different effects.
- Students understand that the size of these rises can be calculated by well planned calculations.
General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking
Australian Curriculum content descriptions:
Science Year 7:
- Water is an important resource that cycles through the environment (ACSSU116)
Science Year 8:
- Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and causes change within systems (ACSSU155)
Syllabus Outcomes: SC4-10PW, SC4-12ES.
Topic: Climate Change
Time required: 45 mins
Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – oversee activity
Resources required: Internet access, printed worksheets, writing materials, ice, bucket or fish tank, other items depending upon student inquiry choices.
Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.
Homework and extension opportunities: None.
Keywords: Greenhouse effect, climate change, ice shelf, ice cap.
Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.