Water on the Move: Wind and Waves

Source Institutions

Source Institutions

Add to list Go to activity
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 Archive.org.]

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