Target Grades: 5-9
The purpose of this exercise is to examine the physical and chemical properties of seawater and learn how these properties affect the ocean currents and environments. Students visualize convection currents as they track the effects of density, temperature, pressure, and salinity. They learn the effects of heat from the sun, precipitation, evaporation, freezing and thawing of sea ice and the inflow of fresh water from rivers. Students extrapolate what they learn and further research to determine the effects of three scenarios on the surrounding water and land environments and inhabitants: 1) a new dam being built on a large river that flows into a bay, 2) melting of the polar ice cap, and 3) a global temperature drop to 0oC. Then they present their conclusions in a panel discussion. Required, but not included: refrigerator or freezer, ice,thermometers, and 18 large beakers or jars. Designed for 24 students working in six groups of four.
Student Data Sheets