A Unique and Challenging Ice Core Investigation that Integrates the Three Dimensions of NGSS & STEM
The GISP2 H-Core was collected in 1992 adjacent to the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2) drill site. The GISP2-H 125.6-meter firm and ice core is a record of 430 years of liquid electrical conductivity and nitrate concentrations. The liquid electrical conductivity sequence contains signals from a number of known volcanic eruptions that provide a dating system at specific locations along the core. The terrestrial and solar background nitrate records show seasonal and annual variations – as well as unique events. Several major nitrate anomalies within the record do not correspond to any known terrestrial or solar events, and there is compelling evidence that some nitrate anomalies within the GISP2 H-Core could possibly be a record of supernova events. This investigation provides participants with a better understanding of the scientific process of analyzing data and developing models to construct knowledge, and defending the results. Sometimes there is no answer key, only possible solutions from analyzing and constructing knowledge from multiple sources that cross traditional disciplines. The materials focus on NGSS scientific practices, crosscutting concepts and the Earth and space sciences core disciplinary ideas – including analyzing and interpreting data, patterns, cycles of energy and matter, Earth systems and Earth and human activity.
Takeaways: In constructing new knowledge, sometimes there is no definitive answer, only plausible conclusions based on constructing, analyzing, and comparing data and research from multiple disciplines.
Donna Young (NASA/NSO/UoL Program Manager: Laughlin, NV)
Presenter Materials for this Session:
(Please login with your NSTA account to view the materials)
Jamboard Online Version of Ice Core Records
This version makes it easier for groups to work together individually and in a group to share their progress.
Ice Core Records.pdf
Ice Core Records Presentation
Ice Core Records Investigation Student Handout
A JS9 Image Analysis Analysis Investigation
This JS9 investigation is an excellent extension for the Ice Core Activity to help determine the date of the Cas A supernova event.
Ice Core Webinar for Educators
The Ice Core Records Investigation from the Earth Scientist Magazine
This article provides an overview of the Ice Core Materials for Educators.