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Deadly Ascent

Viewing Ideas

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Before Watching

  1. Draw a chart on the board that shows the relationship between altitude and atmospheric pressure (see Background on page 2 for chart). Explain that atmospheric pressure is related to the strength of Earth's gravitational pull. The farther away from the center of the Earth, the weaker the gravitational pull. The air molecules (including oxygen) high on a mountain are less dense per square inch so they exert less pressure on the human body.

  2. Organize students into four groups and have them take notes on the following topics: weather conditions during the climb, health issues that arise, the team's responses to the changing conditions, and important decisions made by the team during the climb.

After Watching

  1. Have students who took notes on the same topics meet, compare their notes, and share what they learned.

  2. In the program, the physiological conditions related to AMS and HAPE are discussed. Have students describe how low oxygen levels and/or cold cause or influence these conditions. (AMS is mainly a physiological response to low oxygen; both cold and low oxygen contribute to HAPE.)

  3. Making a decision to climb a high-elevation mountain involves risk, resources, and much preparation. Make a three-column chart on the board and label the columns Groundwork and Preparations, Potential Risks, and Potential Rewards. Have students fill in the chart with information they learned from the program.

Teacher's Guide
Deadly Ascent
BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW VIEWING IDEAS CLASSROOM ACTIVITY RELATED NOVA RESOURCES INTERACTIVE FOR STUDENTS
   

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