Are you ready to take the plunge? THE POLAR PLUNGE!
Well, we're not taking a full on body dip into icy water, but an icy hand dunk does just fine to incite squirms of anxiety and squeals of excitement from your students. We talk about what the Polar Plunge Challenge is, I play this video clip to really gauge their interest, and then explain our activity!
A quick scroll through Pinterest last year, and I knew I had to give the Blubber Glove experiment a try to supplement my science curriculum! I renamed it, "The Polar Plunge Challenge" because what kid doesn't love a challenge? Basically, it's an engaging lab experiment where students use the scientific method to answer the question, "How do polar bears survive in arctic waters?" This leads to a hands-on discovery of the arctic animal adaptation of blubber (a thick layer of fat that keeps animals warm in icy waters). Students are able to compare and contrast the difference in hand plunges into the icy water (one is gloveless, while the other is protected in a blubber glove).
To do this, I prepped the Blubber Gloves (using these directions) beforehand because I wanted to make sure the ice would stay as icy as possible and didn't want to deal with a greasy mess. Once you've supplied each lab group with a bucket of ice, a blubber glove, and a stopwatch (I don't have enough of the old-school ones, so we just time them using our tablets - far away from the water), let the POLAR PLUNGE CHALLENGE begin! You can get this fun resource at my store!