On 1 March 2009, three intrepid polar explorers, Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley, set out on foot on a gruelling trip across the Arctic ice cap. The aim of their expedition, known as the Catlin Arctic Survey, was to gather data on ice thickness. This information will help to predict when the North Pole sea ice cover will melt, an event which will have dramatic consequences for the Arctic ecosystem and the Earth's climate as a whole.
The materials consist of three toolkits, focusing on some of the science that underlies the Catlin Arctic Survey, and they give students the opportunity to see mathematics and science applied to real-life problems.
Each toolkit is made up of a background article and two worksheets with guidance notes for teachers. The overview article can be read on its own, or used as motivational material for the two worksheets. The worksheets are designed to promote group discussion of the topics, as well as provide hands-on activities.