Is The Sea Level?
Level: grades 5-8, but can be raised to grades 9-12
Learning Objective: Students will observe that the sea level changes
and will hypothesize what causes this change. They will then check
their hypothesis on a different data set.
Specific Science Content Standards
Earth Update: Hydrosphere
- Properties of matter
- Structure of the earth system
- Energy in the earth system
- Geography: mapping, analyzing, predicting spatial data
Introducing the activity:
Ask students what sea level is and is it always the same. Many students
are surprised to learn that sea level is not the same everywhere on
earth and it changes with the seasons. The main cause of this change
is the temperature change in the ocean - warmer waters are higher
than colder waters. Students will discover this information as they
do the activity and then see if the temperature effect holds true
on another data set showing temperature and sea height changes caused
by the El Nino.