Activity Introduction

Quick summary: This lesson is designed for a flipped classroom, where students learn new content by watching a video in their own time. This strategy provides the opportunity for students to build their knowledge, attitudes and values by themselves, thereby freeing up class time for hands-on work.

Learning goals:

  • Students explore how scientists are using Antarctic ice cores to uncover secrets about the past and future of our planet.
  • Students build their thinking and questioning skills.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content descriptions:

Year 7 Science

  • Science knowledge can develop through collaboration and connecting ideas across the disciplines of science (ACSHE223)

Year 8 Science

  • People use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity (ACSHE116)

Year 9 Science

  • People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE160)

Year 10 Science

  • Scientific understanding, including models and theories, are contestable and are refined over time through a process of review by the scientific community (ACSHE191)
  • People can use scientific knowledge to evaluate whether they should accept claims, explanations or predictions (ACSHE194)

Syllabus OutcomesSC4-17CW, SC4-13ES, SC5-13ES, SC5-12ES.

Time needed: 20 minutes.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Low – allow students to explore the topic independently.

Resources required: Internet, laptops and earphones, Student Worksheet.

Key words: Antarctica, ice cores, climate change, scientists.


Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher Preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students take responsibility for their own learning by watching a video on Antarctic ice cores and completing a thinking routine.

Extra resources:

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change. It was created to:
  • provide policymakers (governments) with regular scientific updates about climate change;
  • highlight the impact climate change will have on the planet in the future; and,
  • offer some ideas about how to tackle the challenges of climate change's potential effects on the planet.
In 2021-22, the IPCC released their sixth assessment report. This is the most up-to-date physical understanding of the climate system and climate change.
The report makes a number of important points:
  • It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oce
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Student Worksheet

Thought Starter: In what ways are Antarctica and the Arctic different?

Before the video:



What kinds of work do you think scientists in Antarctica do?


Watch the video


After the video

In 35 words or less, write a summary of this video:


Complete this table, thinking about the information you learnt about in the Ted Talk.





Reflection questions

Make a list of three questions that you want to know the answer to:

Questions I would like answered

How could I find out the answers?

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