Frozen Oceans

Science | Ages 14-16

This Frozen Oceans unit of work outlines the research carried out by the Catlin Arctic Surveys between 2009 and 2011 and can be used in teaching the carbon cycle, ocean acidification and its impact on the Arctic ecosystem for Science GCSE/ages 14-16.

The resource includes two data case studies that introduce students to the relationship between dissolved carbon dioxide in the ocean and the ocean pH, as well as to ocean acidification.

Through the enquiry-based lessons and activities linked to multimedia resources, students get to know the work of real scientists and discuss the impact of current scientific processes on the Arctic ecosystem.

These lessons can be combined with the annual Arctic Live event. Every spring this unique interactive event connects thousands of students worldwide to science expedition teams based at the UK Arctic Research Station in Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard.

Lesson 1: What is ocean acidification?

This lesson uses a combination of video, theory and practical demonstrations to develop students' understanding of ocean acidification.

Lesson 2: Data analysis: chemistry

Students will analyse real data from a series of research ‘cruises’ from the Hawaii Ocean Time-series to identify trends in ocean acidification.

Lesson 3: Research in action

The Arctic Ocean is known as a ‘sentinel system’. This is because ocean acidification is happening more rapidly in these cold waters.

Lesson 4: Data analysis: biology

Students will learn about the impact of ocean acidification on copepods, by analysing data collected by scientists during the Catlin Arctic Survey.

Lesson 5: From ice to paper

Students get familiar with the structure of scientific papers, a science press release and discuss the ways in which science can have an impact.

Lesson 6: Conference in a classroom

In this lesson, students will turn the classroom into a mini-conference venue and display their research into ocean acidification.

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