1
The ocean is the key element in Earth's hydrologic cycle (water cycle). Students will construct a simple model of the hydrologic cycle to help them visualize and understand the movement of liquid water and heat. The hydrologic cycle is the continual movement of water from one place to another and...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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2
Students will map the patterns of the major ocean currents as well as the influence of wind, water temperature, land masses, and water density on those currents. Students observe what happens to pieces of an herb sprinkled into a pan of water. After the activity, the students can discuss why the...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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3
The atmosphere is a mixture of gases. Similarly, the world's oceans and fresh waters contain dissolved chemicals. Many substances dispersed in air or water are measured in parts per million. Some of these substances are colorless, odorless, and tasteless, yet even in small quantities they can be...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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4
El Niño storms have taken thousands of lives and caused billions of dollars in damage in recent decades. Where do these storms come from? Every two to seven years, trade-winds in the Pacific Ocean slow down or reverse their direction — no one is sure why. Normally, the Pacific trade winds blow...
Grade Level   8 9 10
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5
Ocean currents — the continuous, directed movement of ocean water — affect regional climates and alter the biological and chemical characteristics of seawater. Currents can flow for long distances both at and below the ocean’s surface. Wind drives surface currents, whereas density often drives...
Grade Level   6 7 8
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6
The JOIDES Resolution (JR) has physical dimensions unlike most oceangoing vessels. Why? So that scientists can sail nearly anywhere in the world to drill for samples of rocks and sediment from below the seafloor — in hopes of discovering clues about Earth’s history and structure, life in the...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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7
The JOIDES Resolution is an amazing ship that contains all the equipment necessary to drill into the ocean floor for samples of rock and sediment: a derrick, drill pipe, drilling tools, and drill bits. Once the cylindrical core sample arrives on the rig floor, the drill crew passes the 10 m core to...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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8
This activity gives your students a glimpse at the difficulty of seafloor surveying, as well as the challenges the JOIDES Resolution faces during each expedition. Your students also will learn about latitude and longitude and plotting coordinates.
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4
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9
A tropical storm is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean. It's causing rain and thunderstorms over the Caribbean, and it will soon be a tropical depression — the beginning of a hurricane. By the time Hurricane Mitch leaves the Central America, more than 11-000 people will be dead and as many as...
Grade Level   8 9 10 11 12
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10
In January 1992, a container ship headed to Tacoma-Washington, from Hong Kong, China, lost 12 containers during severe storm conditions. One container held a shipment of 29-000 bathtub toys. Ten months later, the first of these plastic toys began to wash up onto the coast of Alaska. Driven by the...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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11
The students will set up three demonstrations to observe the properties of water. They will explore the boiling point of water, the freezing point of water, and the ability of water to store heat. These activities can be done individually or as a set. About 71% of the Earth's surface is covered with...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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12
What is sea ice? It is simply frozen ocean water. Why is sea ice important? While it occurs mainly in polar regions, sea ice influences our global climate. Changing amounts of sea ice can affect ocean circulations, weather patterns, and temperatures around the world. Sea ice insulates the relatively...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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13
The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)is the only North American turtle fully adapted to life in brackish water (mix of saltwater and freshwater). Its home is in coastal salt marshes of estuaries along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Although they can live 40 years or...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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14
Geoscientists use special boats to conduct research at sea. One of these boats is named the JOIDES Resolution (JR). Unlike most oceangoing vessels, the JR has a flat bottom, a 6.4-meter hole in the middle, 12 laboratories, and a derrick towering 67 meters above the waterline! Why? So scientists can...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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15
The five national marine sanctuaries along the West Coast monitor the health of the rocky intertidal ecosystem. One way of doing this is to collect data on the relative abundance of the organisms living in that ecosystem. Since this is such a big task, the national marine sanctuaries are training...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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16
Activity where students use problem-based learning to work through a scenario with scientists identifying an unknown mollusc. Problem-based learning is an inquiry technique that involves students working cooperatively in groups solving real-world problems. Students learn how to assess what they...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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17
"Human activities can have a detrimental effect on animal habitats. People need to be more aware of their actions and the consequences of those actions. In a whole group have the students complete a brainstorm activity on all the information they can recall about river habitats and water pollution....
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4
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18
This tracking activity allows students to plot data points onto a tracking chart and map out the possible path of an oncoming hurricane. Meteorologists study the development and movement of hurricanes. This information is made available to the public through the National Hurricane Center which is...
Grade Level   7 8 9 10 11 12
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19
A watershed is an area or ridge of land that separates waters flowing to different rivers, basins, or seas. Watersheds are studied for their contribution to the health of local water systems; many pollutants from the land make their way into the rivers and streams, exiting into the ocean. This...
Grade Level   9 10 11 12
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