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Lesson Plan

Why so cold? – Albedo


In this lesson developed by the Arctic Eider Society, students conduct an experiment that illustrates the concept of albedo (measurement of solar reflectivity of a surface) and explore why this is important for understanding sea ice extent as well as Arctic and global climatology.

1. Albedo

First, teachers explore the concept of solar radiation with students develop their understanding of Albedo. Then, they look at typical Albedo values for different types of surfaces found on earth, as well as the difference between Albedo’s impact at poles and at equator.

2. Experiment

In order to consolidate student learning, they then conduct an experiment in which they simulate the Albedo effect on the Hudson Bay in the spring and in the winter. They will take readings to understand the Albedo effect on these different surfaces.

3. Discussion

To deepen student learning, a variety of application and critical thinking questions are suggested in the Student Booklet. These questions can be addressed as a group or individually, for reinvestment of the learning or for assessment.


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