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Ocean Current Demonstration Model for Earth science gives a firsthand look at ocean circulation patterns. Easy-to-use activity model demonstrates the effects of temperature and salinity on the circulation of water.

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Give students a firsthand look at ocean circulation patterns! Easy-to-use activity model demonstrates the effects of temperature and salinity on the circulation of water. First, observe the striking effect that water temperature has on ocean currents by placing cold blue water on one side of the model and hot red water on the other side. Then set up a saltwater concentration gradient to investigate ocean currents that arise when cold, dense saltwater sinks. Includes complete instructions and detailed teacher notes.

Concepts: Ocean currents, water temperature, density, salinity.
Time Required: 25 minutes


Correlation to Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

Science & Engineering Practices

Developing and using models

Disciplinary Core Ideas

MS-PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter
MS-ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
MS-ESS2.D: Weather and Climate
HS-ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes

Crosscutting Concepts

Patterns
Systems and system models
Energy and matter
Stability and change

Performance Expectations

MS-ESS2-4. Develop a model to describe the cycling of water through Earth’s systems driven by energy from the sun and the force of gravity.
MS-ESS2-6. Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.