Explore! Ice Worlds - Background


Celebrate the International Polar Year!

The International Polar Year (IPY) was a scientific celebration of Earth's polar regions and their integral role in the global system. Between March 2007 and March 2009, thousands of scientists from more than 60 nations conducted over 200 scientific programs to deepen our understanding of the Arctic and Antarctic realms and the changes that are occurring there. Projects encompassed the atmosphere, oceans and terrestrial environment, ecosystems, and indigenous peoples, plants, and animals. NASA scientists were involved in numerous polar research studies. Considerable time was required to prepare a journey to a pole, set up equipment for a study, gather data, and return home, so the IPY spans two years. This was the fourth IPY; it built on the discoveries of the polar years of 1882–3, 1932–3, and 1957–8.

This module of activities is designed to build upon each other, but the three parts of the module or individual activities may also be explored on their own. We recommend becoming familiar with the background information for all sections even if you choose to make use of only one section or activity. Certain key points are reemphasized within the activity write-ups.

Ice is an important feature of our planet and an exciting opportunity for exploration on other moons and planets. Explore! Ice Worlds! will bring to life the unique nature of water ice. It will allow young explorers to search for this precious commodity on other worlds and discover ways to preserve it on our own. Grab some mittens and take the icy plunge into Explore! Ice Worlds!

All About Water Background Information
Ice in the Solar System Background Information
Ice on Earth Background Information

Last updated
October 8, 2009


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