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Avalanche!

Ideas from Teachers


(Gr. 4-12)
We plan to do a series of two- to four-hour lessons on survival. We have purchased the teacher's guides for a course called "Outdoor Survival Training" from Alaska Sea Grant College Program (student books are free). We plan to supplement this curriculum. One of the sessions that we will teach will be about avalanches, as this is common hazard in our area (Kenai Peninsula). We will use NOVA's "Avalanche!" program and the Slip Sliding Away printable activity provided at this site for some hands-on experience. We will also go out in the field and see if we can dissect a snow bank and distinguish snow types, and locate danger areas.

Sent in by
Gretchen Hundertmark
Sterling Homeschoolers


(Gr. 6-8)
I am in the process of creating a Snow Science curriculum. I will use NOVA's "Avalanche" program to show students in a real-world situation just how dangerous backcountry terrain can be. Also NOVA's "Mountain of Ice" program will be useful to show kids snowfall recording and analysis, demonstrating how useful snowflakes are to science. I plan on using the lesson plans from the companion NOVA Online Web sites in class. Another NOVA program I will use is "Fire Wars," in conjunction with my fire ecology unit.

Sent in by
Michelle Cregger
Pilot Butte Middle School
Bend, OR


(Gr. 9-12)
You can incorporate the notions of the danger zones of avalanches with the study of slopes to go with NOVA's "Avalanche!" program. Students could experiment with practical models to discover the ideal avalanche danger slopes. This has the potential of helping students better understand zero slope and undefined slope.

Sent in by
Jim Paris
Westminster High School


(High School/Early College)
We run a limited outdoor program and spend several days each year backcountry skiing in the Wasatch Mountains in Utah, one of the big avalanche areas in the western United States. In preparation, we require participants to go through a safety course—including beacon training—and NOVA's "Avalanche!" program provides an excellent introduction to the importance of avalanche safety and mechanics.

Sent in by
Brian A. Pyper
Rowland Hall-St. Mark's School


Teacher's Guide
Avalanche!
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