 # Lesson Plan: Teaching Linear Regression using Arctic Sea Ice Data

As a high school or undergraduate Mathematics teacher, you can use this set of computer-based tools to help you in teaching introductory statistics and specifically linear regression.

This lesson plan will allow you to teach introductory statistics through linear regression assignments. The lesson plan includes a hands-on computer-based classroom activity to be conducted on datasets of Arctic Ice Data (1979-2017). This activity includes a set of inquiry-based questions that will enable your students to apply their understanding of scatter plots, regression equations, correlation coefficients, regression lines, and linear regression with residual (outlier) plots.

Thus, the use of this lesson plan allows you to integrate the teaching of a climate science topic with a core topic in Mathematics.  Questions

1. Use an example to describe linear regression analysis.
2. Is the extent of the Arctic Sea Ice decreasing since 1979?
3. Has the monthly extent of Arctic Sea Ice changed from 1979- 2017?
4. Discuss the Ice Albedo Feedback and Global Warming to explain the differences in extent of Arctic Sea Ice over the past four decades.

 Grade Level High school, Undergraduate Discipline Mathematics Topic(s) in Discipline Scatter Plots, Correlation Coefficients, Regression Equations, Linear Regression, Residual (Outlier) Plots Climate Topic Climate and the Cryosphere Climate Variability Record Location Global Language(s) English Access Online, Offline Approximate Time Required 50-60 min

Contents

 Teaching Module (25 -30 min) A teaching module to explain the basics of scatter plots, correlation coefficients, regression equations, and linear regression with residual (outlier) plots. This can be accessed here: For High School For Undergraduate Classroom/ Laboratory activity (20 min) A classroom activity to apply understanding of linear regression using datasets of the extent of Arctic Sea Ice (1979-2017). Go to the Activity Visualization (5 min) An interactive visualization of changes in the extent of Arctic Sea Ice from 1979-2020 Go to the Resource

Here is a step-by-step guide to using this lesson plan in the classroom/laboratory. We have suggested these steps as a possible plan of action. You may customize the lesson plan according to your preferences and requirements.

 1 Topic introduction and discussion 1.         Use the teaching module, ‘Introduction-Linear Regression and Correlation’ by OpenStaxTM, Rice University (for High School level) or ‘Chapter-3: Linear Regression’ provided by Ramesh Sridharan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (for Undergraduate level), to introduce these topics of basic statistics. 2.         Navigate to the sub-sections within the module to the basics of scatter plots, correlation coefficients, regression equations, and linear regression. 3.         Use the in-built practice exercises and quizzes to evaluate your students’ understanding of the topics. For High School For Undergraduate 2 Develop the topic further Use the classroom activity, ‘Arctic Ice Data’ from Sustainability Math by Thomas J. Pfaff, Professor of Mathematics, Ithaca College, USA, to enable your students to apply their understanding of linear regression with residual (outlier) plots using datasets from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This classroom activity includes datasets of the monthly extent of Arctic Sea Ice linked from NSIDC’s observations from 1979 to 2017. This data is provided in an Excel spreadsheet that you may use in your classroom to explain the mathematical functions and methods. Direct your students to download the Excel file (with dataset) and proceed with the classroom activity. Encourage your students to answer topical questions by applying their understanding of scatter plots, correlation coefficients, regression equations, and linear regression. Use the regression analyses performed to initiate a discussion on the decrease in extent of Arctic Sea Ice due to the Ice Albedo Feedback and anthropogenically forced Global Warming (links to explanatory notes given within the tool). Go to the Activity Arctic Ice Data 3 Extend understanding Use the visualization, ‘Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph’ from NSIDC to encourage discussion amongst your students about the changes in the extent of Arctic Sea Ice from the years 1979-2020. Discuss how these changes could be the result of changes in the Earth’s climate in recent times. Go to the visualization, ‘Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph’