As Earth Rangers, we know climate change is a big problem for the animals we love, but understanding just how it affects them can be a challenge! For today’s eco-activity we’re taking the plunge, crafting polar pals out of clay and demonstrating what melting ice means for our bear buddies!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- White and black modelling clay
- A large deep container (this will represent the arctic waters your polar pals call home!)
- A shallow dish or container that can go in the freezer (this will be the mold for the arctic ice your bears will float on)
Once you’ve gathered your supplies, you’re ready to get crafting!
1. Fill your shallow dish with water and allow it to freeze overnight
2. While waiting for your ice to freeze, build your polar pals!
a. Roll out two white clay balls, one for your bear’s head and one for its body
b. Roll out four white clay legs
c. Create ears by rolling out two small spheres of white clay
d. Use your black clay to roll out two small eyes, a nose, and a mouth for your polar bear
e. Assemble your polar bear
3. Fill your large container about halfway full with tapwater
4. Take your frozen ice block out of the freezer and break it into 2-3 pieces, then place these on top of the water in your large container and set your polar bears on top
Your polar pals probably look pretty comfy right about now! Snap a pic or make a mental note of the size of the pieces of ice they’re floating on, then continue to check on your bears every 30 minutes. What do you notice?
As the temperature of the water warms and the ice pieces melt, it becomes harder and harder for polar bears to stay afloat. In the wild, they rely on sea ice to hunt their prey and raise their young, and as Arctic ice cover decreases, this becomes harder and harder. Support important research that will help us learn more about how climate change affects polar bears with our Wildlife Adoptions Program!