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Water on the Move: Wind and Waves

Source Institutions

    Museum of Science, Boston

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Water on the Move: Wind and Waves

In this simple activity, learners explore ocean waves. To find out if water moves forward toward the shore, learners create waves in a simulated ocean (small aquarium tank of water). Learners compare how and where a cork moves before and after the waves. Learners discover that the cork moves in a circular motion. This resource also includes information about waves, crests, troughs, and wavelengths. [Activity is publicly available through a web crawler capture on]

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
Under 5 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Demonstration, Simulation


Materials List (per group of students)

  • a small aquarium tank or clear container of similar shape and size
  • a cork
  • a small block of wood
  • masking tape


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
    • Earth, Moon and Sun
      • Tides
  • Physical Sciences
    • Energy
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Wave Properties
      • Wave Motion
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations

Informal Categories

  • Nature and Environment


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


  • Rosentrater, Lynn


  • All Rights Reserved, The Museum of Science, ©1998


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