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In the outdoor activity "Race to Leave No Trace" students learn about the importance of the Arctic in supplying the world with oil and natural gas. The activity also highlights the ecological significance of this fragile region and the difficulties companies face in the safe extraction and shipping of these resources.
In an open space the teacher creates an obstacle course that represents shipping routes for oil and natural gas in the Arctic. Working in teams students carry glasses of water representing natural gas and oil through the course. The goal is to safely get the resources out of the Arctic without any spillage. Students cover the distance a number of times with new obstacles added each time to represent icebergs, ships and other hazards.
At the end of the activity students will be able to describe in terms of cause and effect, the increased shipping and resource extraction taking place in the Arctic.
The outdoor activity "Race to Leave No Trace" is best suited for the upper elementary or middle school Science classroom with a focus on interactions in the environment, ecosystems and diversity of living things. It could easily be adapted to an indoor environment. This activity could also be used in conjunction with World Ocean's Day in early June or World Water Day in March.
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