Curriculum Filter Results

What factors influence ice coverage on the Great Lakes?

What impacts do you think ice on the Great Lakes might have on the surrounding area? Ice actually has a considerable impact. Shipping is shut down for a part of the year. Fish spawning can be impacted. Shoreline structures can be damaged. Even the climate itself is impacted by the ice coverage.

Objectives:

  • Develop a hypothesis identifying the major factors involved in ice coverage of the Great Lakes.
  • Design an investigation of relationships in the Earth System.
  • Evaluate your hypothesis and suggest other investigations related to it.

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Snowmaking—Great Lakes Style

Students living near the Great Lakes often feel the chill of lake-effect snowstorms. Students who have been introduced to weather basics can become familiar with the lakes’ effect on winter storms through this mapping exercise. This activity compliments a weather and climate unit.

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Is the Globe Warming? Is there Evidence in the Great Lakes Region?

After completing this activity, students will be able to:
  • Critically interpret graphic data.
  • Evaluate and discuss the difficulties inherent in interpreting and forecasting long- and short-term trends.
  • Analyze data, draw conclusions about whether there is evidence of global warming, and defend their conclusions.

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Implications of Warming in the Arctic

Besides being a “canary in the coal mine,” why should we learn about global warming in the Arctic?

Objectives:

  • Explain feedback loops including surface reflectivity (albedo), ocean circulation, melting permafrost releasing heat-trapping gasses and melting ice contributing to rising sea levels.
  • Explain how warming in the Arctic affects the rest of the world.

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What Evidence of Glaciation Exists in the Great Lakes Region?

The Great Lakes Basin was once covered by the ice of continental glaciers. About 15,000 years ago the last ice melted to expose the lake basin. There have been minor advances and retreats of glaciers since then causing the level of the water in the lakes to rise and fall. How do scientists determine these past lake levels?

Objectives:

  • Identify the evidence of ancient beach ridges.
  • Become aware of the uses of ancient beach ridges today.

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Ooze Clues, Diatom Ooze

Plot the distribution of various oozes using information from sediment maps.
Objectives:
  • Describe the characterless of different types of seafloor sediments and oozes
  • Predict distribution of calcareous and siliceous oozes.
  • Compare and discuss locations of sediments and oozes.

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Making Great Lakes Connections

Groups of learners work on a single Great Lake and connecting waterway and then come together as a class to construct a simple three dimensional model of the Great Lakes. Individual groups also present their Great Lake and connecting waterway information.

Objectives

After participating in this activity, learners will be able to:

  • identify the Great Lakes and the bodies of water that connect specific Great Lakes with each other and with the Atlantic Ocean
  • describe the three-dimensional geography of the Great Lakes, including elevations
  • describe why locks are needed, and how a lock system works

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