Ice Ages: How Cool was Your School

by  Cranbrook Institute of Science

Program image

A geologist who has studied glaciers in Antarctica interacts with students to demonstrate how landforms, sediment types, exotic rocks and fossils from the Great Lakes region are employed to reconstruct past global climate changes and the Ice Age history. Similar evidence for the remote site is evaluated with students to work out the local Ice Age history and its effects on their community. A discussion of recent global climate change in the context of the Ice Age fluctuations of the 2.5 million years concludes the program.

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About This Program


Multipoint: $125.00


45 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, ParentPublic Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:

30 per classroom

Primary Disciplines

Sciences Earth Sciences, Ice Ages, Global Climate Change

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)

Booking Information

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Provider's Cancellation Policy

The full fee will be charged to sites which cancel, without rescheduling, with less than 48 hours notice.

About This Provider

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Cranbrook Institute of Science

Bloomfield Hills, MI
United States

Cranbrook Institute of Science is a natural history and science museum that fosters in its audiences a passion for understanding the world around them and a lifelong love of learning. Through its broadly based educational programs, its permanent and changing exhibits and its collections and research, the Institute develops a scientifically literate public able to cope with today's knowledge-based society. Cranbrook Institute of Science generates the enthusiasm for learning about the natural world that will produce the scientists of tomorrow.

Michael Narlock

Program Details


Part I: Introduction to Ice Ages and Historical Background: Students will engage in a discussion of glaciers and the historical development of the ice age concept. The geologist facilitating the program will ask and encourage questions.
Part II: The Evidence: Geologist leads identification of common surface rocks activity and sediment textures in the Great Lakes region and discussion of their significance to the Ice Age theory. Surface rocks and sediments Work Sheet 1 (Rock ID Key) Landforms Work Sheet 2 (Landforms of the Great Lakes Region): Discussion of the origin of moraines; followed by student exploration of landforms of the Great Lakes region and their bearing on the geologic - climate history. Ice Age history of your site: Discussion of the evidence relevant to the site of your school/community (Work Sheet 3)
Part III: Animal and Plant Fossils from Late Glacial Times
Response of plant and animal communities to climate change; Mastodons and other large animals (megafauna); Postglacial forest communities; Late glacial extinction theories; early human hunters; climate change – specimens from the Institute collection are featured.
Part IV: Program Summary – Climate Change – Q& A with geologist.


Identify some of the common surface rocks and fossils in the Great Lakes region and local community.
Know how these rocks and fossils allow us to infer past earth processes and history.
Understand how local landforms and exotic rocks provide evidence for an Ice Age climate in the recent past.
Discuss the ideas concerning the late glacial extinction of large animals and how ecosystems respond to environmental change.
Realize the importance of the ice age in shaping the modern world, including the origin of the Great Lakes and natural resources in the local community.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

US National Science Curriculum Standards 5-8 Earth and Space Science

State Standards

Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations
E & MS: S.IP.04.11, 12; S.IP.05-.07.11,16; S.IA.05-.07.15; S.IA .04.12; S.RS.04.15, 18, 19 S.RS.05-.07.11-14; 17; E.ST.04.31 & 32; E.ES.07.11,12 & 42; E.SE.06.11,-14, 41;E.FE.07.11; E.ST.06.31, 41 & 42; L.EV.05.13 & 14; HS: E1.1D, E; E1.1i; E1.2B - 2E; E1.2h; E1.2i; E2.1A-C; E2.2A-C; E2.2f; E2.3A, E2.3d; E2.4A & B; E3.p1A E3.p1B; E3.p2A & B; E3.1A & B; E3.1d & e; E3.r3f; E4.p1A; E4.p2H; E4.p2I; E4.p3A - C; E4.1A - C; E4.2c; E5.p1B; E5.2A; E5.3C & D; E5.3f & g; E5.4A-C; E5.4e-j.