Photo: Simon Gee / Polar Bears International

A polar bear mom and her two cubs

Integrated STEM - Polar Bear Math and Science

Integrating mathematics with polar bear science in K-12 education, we demonstrate how scientific questions can give rise to mathematical questions.

Polar bear mom twin cubs snuggle

Photo: Tim Auer / Polar Bears International

The Role of the Unit

Discover the intersection between mathematics and polar bear science corresponding to each of the mathematical domains outlined in the Common Core State Standards for mathematics. This unit was created in collaboration with Dr. Jody Reimer and Linda Zhao, University of Utah, Department of Mathematics.

Polar bear mom and her twin cubs waiting for the sea ice to freeze

Photo: BJ Kirschhoffer / Polar Bears International

Lessons Overview

Through these lessons students will gain familiarity with standard operations and advance to unit conversion, ratios and proportional units; probability and random sampling; experimental design; estimating and interpreting trend lines; and extrapolation outside of observed values.

Unit Plans

Other Resources

Use the following learning activities and tools to supplement the math unit lesson plans and bring polar bears to life in your classroom.

Learning Tools

Become Inspired

Watch our archived Tundra Connections webcasts and take a tour of the polar bear’s world through our live cams. See polar bears, meet scientists, and ask questions!


Annual Sea Ice Minimums

Satellites have provided a reliable tool for continuously monitoring changes in the Arctic ice since 1979. Every summer, the Arctic ice cap melts to what scientists call its "minimum" before colder weather begins to cause ice cover to increase.

Polar Bear Adaptations

Polar bears are perfectly adapted to live in the Arctic. They have many traits that help them not only survive, but thrive, in some of the coldest places on the planet.

Polar Bears: By the Numbers

Did you know a polar bear is tall enough to dunk a basketball? Or that one polar bear walked all the way from Alaska to Greenland & BACK? Polar bear scientist John Whiteman talks about polar bears by the numbers--in a kid-friendly way!


Join us on a journey to the Arctic, seen through the eyes of an amazing polar bear named Urusla.