Bringing the Arctic to the High School Classroom

Friday, 11 December 2020
David Walker1, Rose Merin Cory2, Jason Dobkowski3, George W Kling3 and Byron C Crump4, (1)Liberal Arts and Science Academy, Chemistry and Earth Science, Austin, TX, United States, (2)University of Michigan, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (3)University of Michigan, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ann Arbor, MI, United States, (4)Oregon State University, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, Corvallis, OR, United States
Through the PolarTREC program that pairs US educators with field researchers in polar regions, our team has been collaborating on K-12 and undergraduate curriculum development and outreach activities on Arctic amplification of climate change. We have created new lesson plans and activities focused on how organic carbon from thawing permafrost in the Arctic is turned into carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that amplifies climate change. This presentation will cover our collaboration to bring this knowledge and experience to high school science students through classroom activities and projects. The focus will be laboratory activities designed for the chemistry classroom: use of spectrophotometry to assess degree of photobleaching in organic samples and evaluation of data from high resolution mass spectrometry to characterize complex organic mixtures. We will also review lessons learned from our efforts to promote enthusiasm for polar science within the general public and discuss the benefits of the PolarTREC program to researchers, educators, students, and the public.