PolarPASS Interactive Environments

PolarPASS Interactive Environments

PolarPASS logo

Earth's polar environments have undergone rapid change during the 21st century and scientists have generated important new data and made groundbreaking insights. Despite growing interest to bring polar-focused material into the undergraduate classroom, curriculum development has lagged. Polar Space and Places, or PolarPASS, is connecting polar-focused material with innovative teaching methods to advance STEM undergraduate education and increase polar knowledge.

Context for Use

Using real data, diverse material types, and a range of activities, PolarPASS modules are designed to bring polar science and exploration to the classroom. PolarPASS modules link to Climate Literacy Principles and Polar Literacy Principles and are being tested in teaching models that include semester, quarter, and block teaching models.

PolarPASS is developed by a team of educators and scientists at Western Washington University, the University of Montana Western, and the National Snow and Ice Data Center and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder. During the initial development of PolarPASS materials, the team is testing the efficacy of different teaching activities in developing students' sense of place.

The PolarPASS team is excited to address your questions and hear about your experience using PolarPASS material. Please reach out to us at polarpass@colorado.edu.

Goals Header
Learning Goals

PolarPASS is designed to:

  • Bring real polar data into the classroom
  • Strengthen students' knowledge of polar science
  • Build student connections to polar places

Teaching Materials

PolarPASS Navguide

 

Module 1 Unit 1 Part2a – Traveling to the Glacier Terminus 

Explore the 'Traveling to the Glacier Terminus' Interactive Environment by following this link

Unit Objective: Overview of a glacier basin system 

Driving Question: What is the geography and what are the system components of a Greenland glacier basin system?  

IE Lesson Objective and Learning Goals: 

  • Develop a sense of place for the Kangerlussuaq glacier basin system. 
  • To visually explore the Watson River watershed.  

Part 1: Traveling along the Watson River watershed to the Glacier Terminus 

Module 1 Unit 1 Part b – Kangerlussuaq

Explore the 'Kangerlussuaq' Interactive Environment by following this link

Unit 1: Overview of a glacier basin system 

Driving Question: What is the geography and what are the system components of a Greenland glacier basin system?  

IE Lesson Objective and Learning Goals: 

  • Develop a sense of place for the Kangerlussuaq glacier basin system. 
  • To demonstrate that Kangerlussuaq and the Watson River watershed support a small community. To show this is a place where people live. 

Town Description Text: Kangerlussuaq was initially established as a pre-WWII U.S. air force base.  Because of this, the town is structured like a military base.  However, it now serves as Greenland’s largest airport.  As such, it hosts a transitory population and a lot of the infrastructure is focused around supporting the airport and airport logistics.  Therefore, many of the apartments and warehouses have interchangeable designations and purposes. 

Part 2: Traveling from KISS to the Watson River Gauge. 

Module 1 Unit 4 - Watson River Discharge 

Explore the 'Watson River Discharge Early Season' Interactive Environment by following this link

Explore the 'Watson River Discharge Mid Season 1' Interactive Environment by following this link

Explore the 'Watson River Discharge Mid Season 2' Interactive Environment by following this link

Explore the 'Watson River Discharge Late Season' Interactive Environment by following this link

Unit Objective: To visually explore the Watson River at varying discharge levels over a melt season. 

Driving Question: What are the temporal changes and physical properties of glacial meltwater for pro-glacial regions of a glacier basin system? 

Learning Goals: How do seasonal changes in temperature influence the overall hydrology of a glacier basin system  

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