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In this outdoor inquiry students investigate how the depth and composition of snow can determine its insulating effects. After digging a snow pit, the air temperature is measured and the temperature and composition of the snow are recorded at regular intervals between the surface of the pit and the ground below.
Students pool their results to determine patterns and consistencies in the relationships among snow depth, snow composition, snow temperature and the distribution of species.
A number of related winter activities are also suggested.
This easy-to-implement outdoor activity provides a great opportunity for getting students outdoors in the winter months. It offers an authentic context in which to examine the concepts of 'limiting factors' and 'adaptation'.
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