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Your Guides


Meet Paige and Pho - your guides through the ICESat-2 FunZone!
Join these two to learn more about the NASA ICESat-2 mission.

ICESat-2 uses green lasers, which are made up of bits of light called photons.

Hi, I'm Pho the Photon!

And I'm Paige the Penguin!

ICESat-2 is a satellite mission that will measure the height of Earth's ice-covered regions to track melting and other changes. From space, it will also measure the height of other features of our planet, including trees and shrubs, lakes and buildings.

Ice comes in many forms here on Earth, like mountain glaciers and frozen lakes, but most of it is found near the North Pole and South Pole. With temperatures on our planet warming up, many of these icy areas are melting.


NASA Reel Science 2014 Winner

Watch the 2014 high school winner of NASA's Reel Science Communication Contest.

Real World: ICESat-2 and Earth's Cryosphere

Earth's cryosphere includes its frozen structures, such as sea ice, ice caps, and permafrost. Studying changes in the cryosphere provides scientists with valuable information about the past, present, and future of the planet. ICESat-2 will help scientists learn more about Earth's ice and its role in climate.

Our World: ICESat-2 - What Is Ice?

What is ice? NASA and ICESat-2 scientists explain the unique and essential qualities of frozen water. Water, unlike other types of matter, is less dense as a solid than as a liquid, allowing ice cubes -- as well as bigger chunks of ice -- to float on top of liquid water. Floating ice on lakes and oceans is important, allowing life to live in the water beneath it. Ice covered regions also have a big impact on our planet's climate and weather, even far away from the polar regions.

Launchpad: ICESat-2 - Next Generation Technology

Learn how ICESat-2 will be used to map the ice structures in the world's polar regions, allowing scientists to study changes on Earth.

Our World: ICESat-2 Measures Ice Sheets

ICESat-2 allows NASA's scientists to make accurate maps of polar ice sheets, which helps improve predictions about weather patterns, climate change, and the effects of changing ice structures.


Pho Crochet Pattern

Make your own Pho the Photon!

Download the activity

Photon Counting

What is photon counting?

Pretending that you are the ICESat-2 satellite, learn about photon counting and spacecraft engineering by using green bouncy balls.

Download the activity

Greenland Ice

How thick is the ice covering Greenland?

Investigate this question, key to the ICESat-2 mission, with a coloring activity, then learn more about Earth’s different forms of freshwater in EO for Kids.

Download the activity

Greenland Ice

Build your own Satellite

Get creative assembling a paper model of the satellite!

Download the model PDF Download the Instructions PDF

Paper Model

Bookmark Activity

Have fun with this really cool bookmark activity!

Download the activity


Global Ice Viewer

Frozen Poles Quiz

Frozen Frames

Get involved

Become an ICESat-2 School!

ICESat-2 sciences need help measuring heights of trees and buildings from the ground.
Please contact Brian Campbell
to sign up.

Fun Links

Learn more about Earth's climate! Manipulate a 3D Satellite!