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What is the phenomenon of melting sea and land ice?

Ice is found all around our planet, from the highest peak in Africa to the icy North and South Poles.

Why Does NASA Study Ice?

The amount of ice on our planet affects how much energy is absorbed by the Earth's system and also impacts global sea level. These are just some of the reasons why scientists study ice.

MND recognizes that teaching science is about helping students make sense of the world around them, not memorizing facts and principles. MND makes teaching Earth Science easier (and more interesting) by organizing NASA data with the phenomena that they support.

To check out the MND resources related to the 3 Dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards, check out the following links:

Crosscutting Concepts 



Disciplinary Core Ideas

ESS: Earth and Space Science

The My NASA Data website offers a variety of opportunities to explore Earth Science phenomena of the Atmosphere, Biosphere, Cryosphere, Geosphere, and Hydrosphere using uniquely NASA related content.  Come and explore the site to learn about the following content types in each of the sphere pages


The products of science are explanations and the products of engineering are solutions.

Snow and Ice Extent 1Snow and Ice Extent 2

K-2: Constructing explanations and designing solutions in K-2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to the use of evidence and ideas in constructing evidence-based accounts of natural phenomena and designing solutions.

Scientists and engineers use and develop models for representing ideas and explanations.

The Water Cycle

Water Cycle

K-2: Modeling in K-2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to include using and developing models (i.e., diagrams, drawing, physical replica, diorama, dramatization, storyboard) that represent concrete events or design solutions.

Mathematical modelers use mathematics to create models that demonstrate complex processes or solve problems. Many mathematical modelers use their skills to create and animate 3D representations of their processes with the assistance of software technology. 

An important scientific practice is the asking and refining of questions that lead to rich descriptions, explanations, and reasoning of how the natural and designed world works, as well as those investigations of variables that can be empirically tested.

Global map of average Sea Surface Temperature, 2009

SST, 2009

K-2: Asking questions and defining problems in grades K–2 builds on prior experiences and progresses to simple descriptive questions that can be tested.

A key practice of successful scientists and engineers is the ability to clearly communicate the ideas and methods they develop. Being able to review and critique the ideas of others are fundamental activities of professional STEM professionals.

Average Precipitation, Sept.

K-2: Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information in K-2 builds on prior experiences and uses observations and texts to communicate new information.


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