In this activity, students will certainly learn around sea ice and also land ice. They will certainly observe ice cream melting top top a heavy surface close to a human body of water and also ice melt in a body of water. Prior to the activity, students will certainly predict what each instance will carry out to the level the water and also then compare your prediction to what castle observe.

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Two identical, clear, plastic food-storage containers, approx. 6 inch by 6 inches

Clay (enough to fill about a 4 minutes 1 of each bathtub with 1-2 inch of clay)

Tray of ice cream cubes



Permanent mite (optional)

Student Worksheet –download PDF


This activity can be excellent in groups or as a whole-class demonstration. The materials list over is because that one team or one whole-class demonstration.This task takes time, together a given quantity that ice has to melt. If you have students all day, the task can begin at the beginning of the day and also be revisited at continuous intervals throughout the day. If students meet for only a class period, consider speeding up the ice melt by place the experiment close to a heat lamp or a source of gentle warmth.Be mindful that the ice cream in the water will certainly melt faster than the ice on the “land.”Be certain the clay surface will permit the melted land ice to circulation into the human body of water. Avoid pushing your fingers right into the clay and creating depressions that will certainly block the circulation of water.


Sea level is rising, in part, due to the fact that melting glaciers top top land are adding an ext water to earth’s oceans. Glaciers – huge sheets of ice and also snow – exist top top land all year long. They are uncovered in the hills of every continent except Australia. Greenland and Antarctica contain huge ice sheets the are also considered glaciers. As temperatures rise, glaciers melt much faster than they accumulate new snow. As these ice cream sheets and also glaciers melt, the water at some point runs right into the ocean, resulting in sea level come rise.

Icebergs and frozen seawater likewise melt in heat temperatures yet are not far-ranging contributors come sea level rise. This is since they are currently in the water. The volume of water they displace as ice is around the exact same as the volume the water they include to the s when lock melt. As a result, sea level does not rise once sea ice melts. While thickness differences in between salt water and also freshwater result in a difference in between the volume of braided sea water being displaced through sea ice and the freshwater that would an outcome from the melt of the sea ice, it is minimal and also beyond the limit of this lesson.

Another contributor to sea-level rise is the rise in volume that occurs when water is heated, dubbed thermal expansion. Both heat expansion and also ice melt are the outcomes of the rise in global average temperatures on land and sea recognized as climate change.


As a class, talk about sea-level rise and climate change. Call students they’re going to conduct an experiment to learn how melting ice contributes come sea-level rise.Ask students wherein there is a lot of ice ~ above Earth. Questioning them to specify if the ice is on land or at sea. (The Greenland and Antarctic ice cream sheets, in addition to smaller mountain glaciers, are taken into consideration land ice. The ice cream in the Arctic is frozen seawater and therefore considered sea ice.)Ask college student which form of ice, if any, contributes much more to sea-level rise. Ask students to define their thinking.On the student data sheet, have actually students record their prediction about which form of ice will certainly contribute an ext to sea-level rise.Provide each team with the forced materials and directions to conduct the experiment.Press equal amounts of clay right into one side of every plastic tub, making a smooth, level surface representing land rising out that the ocean.
In one tub, location as many ice cubes as feasible on the flat clay surface. This represents land ice.
In the various other tub, location the same number of ice cubes on the bottom the the tub, beside the clay. This represents sea ice.Pour water right into the sea-ice container until the ice cream floats. Be certain no ice is relaxing on the bottom of the tub. The water shouldn’t be greater than the soil level.
Without mental the ice cream cubes, to water water into the land-ice container until the water level is about equal come the water level in the sea-ice container.
Using the ruler, measure the water level (in millimeters) in each bathtub and record the data on the student data sheet.You have the right to mark the water level with a marker on the external of the tub, yet if the containers are reused, they will have actually the marks from the vault group. Another way to mark the water level is to mark a line in the clay utilizing a pencil or various other object.At continuous intervals, measure up the water level and also record that on the data sheet. To compare the water level v the significant line in the clay. Enable the ice in both tubs to melt completely.Use the measurements recorded on the data paper to produce a heat graph representing the water level in each tub.


In which container go the water level rise more?How go this compare to her prediction?Why execute you think this occurred?In what method is this connected to global sea-level rise?Does the melt of earth glaciers add to sea-level rise? How around the melting of icebergs?


Students must make a prediction and carry out reasoning for your prediction. The accuracy of your prediction is not as vital as the truth that they make one and can connect their reasoning.Groups should construct the land-ice and sea-ice containers according to the directions.Groups should take measurements and also record data at constant intervals.Groups should compare their outcomes to your predictions and provide a reasonable explanation because that what they observed.Students must be able to connect the design to the an international events of ice melting and also associated sea-level rise.

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Use the data from the student data sheet to produce a heat graph making use of spreadsheet software.

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