Lunar and Planetary Institute

Explore! Ice Worlds - Websites


International Polar Year

NASA and the International Polar Year
What are NASA scientists discovering at Earth's poles? Learn about the research projects and missions, get the latest research results, and peruse images, videos, blogs, and podcasts. You can also receive stories, images and videos by subscribing to the IPY RSS feed!

International Polar Year
Celebrate the International Polar Year! Learn about the ice, environment, ecosystems, animals, plants, and people of the Arctic and Antarctic — and how these interconnected entities have — and continue to change.

Downloadable International Polar Year Posters

NSIDC International Polar Year Poster
A dramatic and beautiful poster shows the Antarctic and Arctic regions of our globe, reflecting the intent of the International Polar Year to provide us with the chance to better understand and appreciate the polar regions of planet Earth.

NASA International Polar Year Poster
NASA's unique perspective on Earth's poles — from space, the air, and on the ground - is captured in this full-color poster. From the ozone hole over the Antarctic to glaciers in Greenland and historical photos of early polar explorers, the 40 images on this poster represent the many ways humans have sought to understand these remote regions. Descriptions of each photo are provided on the back of the poster.

International Polar Year Posters
Celebratory posters of the International Polar Year from present to past.

Polar Palooza
Through events and online resources, Polar scientists and Arctic residents share personal stories of life and research in polar regions, to help to inspire audiences to better appreciate the many ways the rapidly changing Arctic and Antarctic affect the health and functioning of the entire Earth system. The site offers learning resources as well as information on Polar Palooza events held across the nation.

Ice on Earth

National Snow and Ice Data Center Education Center
Great encyclopedic resource that presents illustrated information for the general public about glaciers, snow, ice, and those who are investigating our changing polar regions.

Tour of the Cryosphere
This seven-minute video shares the interconnectedness of the polar regions, and their global role.

Interactive Image Mosaic of Antarctica
Learn about Antarctica and view satellite images provided by the Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA). Discover Antarctica's features and mysteries and see what it really looks like! There are also a lot of useful resources listed.

Polar Ice Fact Sheet

Get Involved in the Global Snowflake Network!

As part of the History of Winter project, the general public can get free online training to collect and report snowflake data from their homes. Training takes little time and snowflake data collection requires simple, easily found materials. Get involved in research! Share your findings with NASA scientists!

Earth's Poles

The Arctic and Antarctic
Enchanted Learning shares information, coloring sheets, and games for children ages 4 to 8.

Arctic Animals
Antarctic Animals

Animals of the Arctic
Discover the animals that live in the harsh conditions of the Arctic for children ages 8 to 14.

All Things Arctic
Learn about Arctic ecosystems for children ages 12 and older.

Children ages 12 and older will enjoy this ThinkQuest exploration of the south polar region, complete with an exploration timeline.

Earth's Polar Regions
Windows to the Universe shares information about Earth's Polar Regions and the changes that are occurring in these delicate regions. Children can learn about the environment, ecosystems, animals, indigenous people, exploration, and the polar regions of Mars. This site can be explored on three different levels depending on the age/knowledge of the reader. Games, resources, links, and educator pages are available.

Sounds of the Poles
Short radio podcasts and galleries by EarthSky capture the voices of scientists involved in International Polar Year research. Use these to introduce your icy programs!

Ice Stories
The Exploratorium provided Arctic and Antarctic scientists with cameras and online journals to help them share their exploration. Discover what it is like to explore and research the polar regions — and learn about the most recent findings. The journey can be viewed via webcasts and real-time video. There are also opportunities to ask questions!

Scientific Journeys from McMurdo to the Pole
Learn about the coldest, driest, highest place on Earth — Antarctica! Visit the scientists and learn about what they are studying, why, and how through multimedia venues.

Learn about recent and upcoming expeditions to the poles and the explorers on the expeditions.

Past Explorers
An eclectic mix of information about Arctic and Antarctic researchers (and postal history!) best explored with a relaxed timeframe and cup of coffee. Use of the search engine is recommended as the best method to retrieve a plethora of information for young adults and adults.

Office of Polar Programs of the National Science Foundation
Young adults and older can get the latest news, images, and blogs about Arctic and Antarctic research findings from the Office of Polar Programs.

Sea Ice Satellites
Learn about the sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, and how — and why — NASA scientists are studying it.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's "one-stop-shopping" site for all things Arctic, including information and images for the general public about the Arctic environment, exploration, and cultures.

Our Changing Planet and Poles

Global Warming Kids Site
Children can learn about global warming, why it's important and what they can do about it. There are also games and other activities on the site. A link to information for educators is listed as well. Be sure to check out EPA Kids Club where children and adults can learn much about our environment.

Global Warming Kids
This site offers lots of information, resources, links as well as fun stuff, including movies, games and hands-on activities to educate children about global warming and climate change.

Children of all ages can play more than 50 games and start learning about Earth science in this interactive online program by the National Park Service.

American Museum of Natural History's Science Website for Kids – Articles, activities, images, and other interactive sources of information are provided on a variety of science topics, including Earth science. For children ages 8–13.

Hot Earth
Tiki the Penguin explores the issues behind global warming and shares with readers ages 8 to 12, 12 important steps they can take to help reduce global warming. This site, while for children, is not gentle; parents and educators will want to review the site and be on hand to help children navigate the issues.

Science News for Kids provides articles on Earth science and other areas of science, technology, and math. Appropriate for kids ages 9–14.

Sea Level Viewer – This interactive activity allows ages 9 and up to explore how satellite observations of sea level help scientists study climate and predict weather events.

Global Climate Change Research Explorer
Children ages 14 and older will enjoy exploring scientific data relating to the atmosphere, the oceans, the areas covered by ice and snow, and the living organisms in all these domains at this attractive and engaging site. Visitors build an understanding of how scientists study global warming — from collecting data, to creating theories, to drawing conclusions.

Global Climate Change: NASA's Eyes on Earth
Presentation of evidence, causes, effects, uncertainties, and solutions for global warming (abrupt climate change), with an overview of NASA's roles in Earth monitoring and the missions involved in doing so. Nice interactives for the impact of sea level, and climate change indicators/consequences from recent history into the future, as well as links to video clips and other resources.

Earth Observatory
The Earth Observatory shares the images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment that emerge from NASA's Earth system science research. The site presents stunning images daily, as well as articles and datasets about our world, designed for the general public. An interactive glossary gives readers basic definitions of terms throughout the article. Investigate the archive of articles, which includes:

Arctic Ice
Global Warming
Monitoring Earth's Glaciers
Vanishing Ice
Past Climates
Ice Cores
Sizing Up the Earth's Glaciers
West Antarctic Ice Sheet

Ice on Other Planets

Ice on Europa
Information about the icy shell of Europa, Jupiter's smallest moon for young adults.

Ice on Mars
Mars may have ice on it! Find out why scientists believe this to be true.

Prospecting for Lunar Water
LRO instruments will hunt for evidence of ice on the Moon's surface — following the evidence provided by earlier Lunar orbiters. A nice overview of the instruments. For children ages 12 and older.

Moon Water
This NASA science article discusses the possibility of water on the Moon and why we are so interested in discovering water there. The site is appropriate for ages 12 and up.

Lunar Ice: 'Cold Traps' Eyed for Exploration
Why craters are good bets for preserving ice, and how the LRO instruments will help determine if ice is there. For young adults.

Last updated
August 8, 2013

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