• iceberg
  • boy with flowers
  • checking water quality
  • planet eclipse
  • solarsystem model
  • rangitoto trees
  • kids with test tubes
  • kids with earth
  • snowy mountains
  • teens in physics class
  • Rainbow Clouds

    Refraction and diffraction of light through ice crystals in the clouds

  • Philippa On The Ice

    Philippa On The Ice Philippa Werry at an Antarctic research camp 2016

New Zealand Science Teacher

Science Curriculum/Scientific Literacy

Thin Ice: the inside story of climate science

This new film exploring climate change issues holds great potential for science teachers, write Peter Barrett and Suze Keith.

Exploring climate science and climate change issues in the classroom can be extraordinarily complex. Being multidisciplinary in nature, it employs all forms of science, from physical and biological to social. In addition, students are likely to approach the issue with a background of mixed messages from mainstream media and from families.

Newly released award-winning documentary  film Thin Ice – the inside story on climate science, works to simplify the essence of climate science by giving the audience an insider’s view of the world of the climate scientist The film reveals an astonishing breadth and depth to the field, but concludes with a clear and coherent message.

Produced collaboratively by Victoria University of Wellington, Oxford University, and DOX Productions, London, the film exposes the huge range of human activity and scientific endeavour going into understanding Earth’s changing climate, so the audience is able to not only better understand the science itself, but to put a human face to climate science. 

It was launched on Earth Day 2013, with over 200 screenings covering all seven continents. Since then, Thin Ice has gone on to win awards at the Sheffield and Baikal Film Festivals and receive much positive feedback, particularly for its accessibility to advancing learning on issues of climate change.

The film is available to schools and learning institutions, and is able to be purchased online for individual, classroom or institutional use, with the 73-minute DVD able to be shown in segments from 3 to 12 minutes long, allowing for a variety of classroom planning. It also has optional subtitles in English and 5 other languages.

It is well supported by the Thin Ice website and Facebook page, which feature significant supplementary information, including 37 video clips of related interviews, links to well-sourced climate websites and the scientists’ biographies. 

To extend the learning opportunities available to students through the film, Onslow College is initiating a pilot study of how Thin Ice, and its supporting material, can be incorporated into a cross-curriculum plan for trial in 2014.

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