Ocean Currents

Ocean Currents by Catherine Halversen, Kevin Beals, Craig Strang

Marine Science Activities for Grades 5—8

What causes ocean currents? What impact do they have on Earth’s environment? How have they influenced human history? Students gain fascinating insights into our ocean planet through these innovative activities. They learn how wind, temperature, salinity, and density set water into motion, and they make an “in-depth” investigation of the key physical science concept of density. They model how pollution dumped in one location can spread throughout the ocean. Learning is placed in a real-world context as students predict and analyze routes taken by shipwrecked sailors, the 1990 Nike shoe spill, the raft Kon Tiki, and other voyages. In “Message in a Bottle,” students create stories to show what they’ve learned over the course of the unit.