1
Water on earth is used over and over. The water cycle, the continuous movement of water from ocean to air and land then back to the ocean in a cyclic pattern, is a central concept in meteorology. In the water cycle, the sun heats the Earth's surface water, causing that surface water to evaporate...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
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2
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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3
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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4
Different types of soil have different capabilities for retaining rainwater. When the soil in an area cannot hold enough rainwater, flooding occurs. Students in this activity measure the amount of water different soil types can handle. Following the activity, students discuss soil and flooding...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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5
Caves form through a variety of natural processes depending on their local geology and climate. Flowing lava, melting ice, dissolving rock, and crashing waves are the major processes that form these wondrous environments. In this activity, students will observe a model of how the most common type of...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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6
"Each group will design a water filtration system and present to the class why they picked their design. Students are given a variety of materials (soil, gravel, charcoal, etc) and must try to filter """"polluted"""" (with food coloring, salt, dish soap) water."
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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7
Landslides not only are dangerous — causing on average more than 25 deaths and over ¤1 billion in damages a year — but are also widespread, occurring in all 50 states. Compounding the hazards, these natural disasters often occur along with other similar natural phenomena, such as floods...
Grade Level   5 6 7 8
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8
People interact with Earth’s water (hydrosphere) in a variety of ways. We depend upon water for survival, but we also need it to keep clean and help avoid spreading disease. On our ever-changing Earth, the supply of fresh water can be limited for some humans. We need good techniques to make the...
Grade Level   4 5 6 7 8 9
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9
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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10
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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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
Sinkholes are natural depressions in the land caused when limestone and soils dissolve. They form when groundwater removes rock underground. They can form by slow gradual sinking or by sudden collapse of an underlying hole. Sinkholes are common in about one quarter of the U.S. You can usually...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10
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15
"Crucial to our existence, water sustains all life on Earth. Following the old adage, """"""""What goes around comes around-"""""""" water moves continuously through the stages of the hydrologic cycle (evaporation, condensation, and precipitation). How does our drinking water fit into this...
Grade Level   K 1 2 3 4
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16
Water is often called a renewable resource, but what does that really mean? Is water an unlimited resource? What happens to water after we use it? This investigation will help you understand exactly how much water you use in your home and how you can keep from wasting water. If many people are...
Grade Level   6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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17
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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18
Wetlands are called one of the world's most productive ecosystems. They produce more plant and animal life than woodlands or prairies. Characteristics, like water levels, naturally change seasonally and annually. Wetlands are in transition between aquatic and terrestrial systems where the water...
Grade Level   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
Classroom Activities Curricula and Instruction
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