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Causes and Effects of Melting Ice


Source Institutions

    Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence

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Causes and Effects of Melting Ice

In this activity, learners explore the concept of density-driven currents (thermohaline circulation) and how these currents are affected by climate change. Learners use colored ice cubes, water, and salt to explore density as it relates to salinity. This activity helps learners to understand the impact of glacial melt on sea level rise.

Quick Guide


Preparation Time:
4 to 24 hours

Learning Time:
1 to 2 hours

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan

Language:
English

Materials List (per group of students)


  • One sandwich-sized plastic bag that seals
  • One plastic cup and spoon group
  • Ice Cube Tray
  • Food coloring: recommended blue or green
  • Two clear, plastic shoebox sized containers (approximately 25.5 cm x 15 cm x 17.5 cm)
  • Masking tape
  • 1 multi colored package of modeling clay
  • Access to warm water (tap water is fine)
  • Pitcher
  • 2 Heat lamps with bulb
  • Salt (approximately ΒΌ cup)
  • One refractometer or Hydrometer
  • Permanent marker
  • Ruler
  • Measuring scale or balance

Subjects


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Geochemical Cycles
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
      • Atmosphere
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Human Impact
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
      • Heat Transfer
    • Chemistry
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
    • Structure and Properties of Matter
      • Volume and Density
  • The Nature of Science
    • Science and Society
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
  • The Nature of Technology
    • Technology and Society
      • Technology and the Environment

Informal Categories


  • Nature and Environment

Audience


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Uses STEM to solve real-world problems
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities

Other


Includes alignment to state and/or national standards

Includes assesments for student learning

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access

By:

  • Vernon Bell, Elizabeth; Marshall, Brittney; Bliss, Angela

Rights:

  • All Rights Reserved, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence,

Funding Source:

  • National Science Foundation, 0527849

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