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March 2005

NOVA: Descent into the Ice
The PBS site on France’s Mt. Blanc glacier and on glaciers worldwide.
Grade Level: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

This companion site to the PBS broadcast offers students the opportunity to explore the glaciers on France’s Mt. Blanc and the changing condition of glaciers worldwide. Interactive activities for students and a teacher’s guide are included.
The site’s content is well organized and easy to navigate. Links are available on the main page to all areas. Macromedia Flash Player, QuickTime, Windows Media Player, and RealOne Player are needed.

Descent into the Ice provides engaging teaching and learning materials on glaciers. Students can interactively “follow the journey of a single snowflake as it takes a ride through a glacier, a process that can take as much as 30,000 years to complete” and explore the wardrobe of an ice climber and why each article is important to his task. Vanishing into Thin Air explores how the glaciers of many mountains around the world are melting and the consequences of this meltdown. Another section discusses the use of satellite imagery as a tool for monitoring glacier-related disasters and hazards as well as providing a slide show of some of these events. The Teacher’s Guide offers a fun classroom activity for students to learn about water changing into ice and student handouts that can be printed from the site. The entire teacher’s guide can also be downloaded in .pdf format for printing. Included are links to related NOVA resources and other online and print resources.


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