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CLEAN, Lunar and Planetary Institute, Universitites Space Research Association


2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th



Resource Types

  • Experiments
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus




The Tip of the Iceberg

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  • In this experiment, students observe ice cubes in water to understand the buoyancy of ice in water, how chunks of ice can impact water levels, and the density of ice compared to water.
  • In addition to the experiment, students will review related concepts, analyze the experiment's results, record their findings in a journal, and have a post-experiment discussion about icebergs.
Teaching Tips


  • This experiment can be completed in one class period.
  • The required materials for this experiment are relatively easy to find.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students need to have a basic grasp of fractions.
  • It's a good idea to do the Amazing Expanding Ice experiment before doing this one.


  • This experiment can fit within a larger unit on the distinct qualities of water and how these attributes manifest in the natural world.
  • To extend the experiment, teachers can encourage students to observe and record how melted ice impacts the containers' water level.
  • This experiment can support a classroom discussion on why icebergs are important for the environment.
  • This experiment can augment a classroom discussion on how melting icebergs impact global sea levels.
Scientist Notes

This resource is from the CLEAN collection. “The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness.”


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 2-ESS2-3. Obtain information to identify where water is found on Earth and that it can be solid or liquid.
    • PS1: Matter and Its Interactions
      • 5-PS1-3. Make observations and measurements to identify materials based on their properties.
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement (K-5)
      • 2.M.A.4 Measure to determine how much longer one object is than another, expressing the length difference in terms of a standard length unit.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.PE.4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • Related Resources


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