Polar extremes

on PBS


Explore the icy polar landscapes of our planet! 

Looking for ways to keep your students busy while learning remotely? We have a simple, fun activity they can do at home at their own pace: play the Polar Lab or watch a clip from Polar Extremes! It’s part of a study we’re undertaking on how young people learn about science.





Help us understand how children can use media to build confidence and skill in science through a National Science Foundation-funded research study (DRL-1713552), conducted by UC Santa Barbara & NOVA / WGBH Boston. 


We are looking for help from middle-school and junior high school children to test an interactive game about the polar landscapes of our planet (NOVA Polar Lab), or watch a short documentary about the same material (clip from Polar Extremes) and provide feedback.


The activity will take about 45 minutes, including watching the video or playing the interactive game, and answering questions about their experience in a brief survey (all responses will remain anonymous).

Activity Instructions:


  • Share the consent form with parents to make sure they know their children will be part of our study. It’s anonymous and confidential, no personal information will be collected. It is not necessary for consent forms to be signed and returned. The forms are just to let parents know their student may be participating in a study; they can opt their child out, if they choose.

  • Share the activity link with your students.

  • Provide these instructions for your students:

    • Click the activity link in Chrome or Firefox (Safari won’t work).

    • Answer a few basic questions about how you feel about science.

    • Play the Polar Lab or watch a clip from the Polar Extremes documentary (links to these in survey).

    • Return to survey to answer some questions about what you learned!

  • After the survey is complete, your students will have the option to play the Lab or watch the clip, whichever they weren’t directed to play/watch before!


Questions? Contact Lisa Leombruni, PhD (

Join NOVA Arctic Explorer, Caitlin Saks!


Image Credit: Michael Ginzburg