Water Body Salinities I

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In this activity, learners investigate the different salinity levels of oceans, rivers and estuaries. Learners then use experimentation to determine which sample is the best model of each type of natural water source. The first test, for conductivity, shows learners that a water sample with the right salinity can even be used to light a bulb or ring an electric buzzer. The second test, for evaporation, shows how rate of evaporation is affected by salinity level. This activity can be followed by Water Body Salinities II from the same resource. Includes background material.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Learning Time:
1 to 7 days

Estimated Materials Cost:
Over $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - adult

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan, Model


Materials List (per group of students)

  • student journals and writing tools
  • 3 1000-mL graduated cylinders or 2-liter soda bottle
  • distilled water
  • kosher salt
  • balance
  • roll of insulated wire
  • wire stripping tool
  • large state map
  • NJ outline map (in student journal)
  • colored pencils
  • 1 cup opf water
  • 3 16-oz cups
  • 9-volt battery
  • small light bulb or buzzer w2 insulated wires attached
  • masking tape or alligator clips
  • one 12-inch length of insulated wire (ends stripped)
  • 2 popsicle or craft sticks
  • aluminum foil
  • 3 9-oz plastic cups
  • permanent marker


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
  • Life Sciences
    • Ecology
      • Energy Flow and Chemical Cycles
  • Physical Sciences
    • Electricity and Magnetism
      • Electric Circuits
    • Chemistry
      • Chemistry of Life
      • Solutions
    • States of Matter
      • Liquids
      • Changes of Phase
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

Includes alignment to state and/or national standards:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Science After School Consumer's Guide


  • All rights reserved, State of New Jersey, 2006

Funding Source:

  • No Child Left Behind Act of 2001