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Main Curriculum Tie:
Background For Teachers:
Warm ocean water cools as it makes its way north, and begins to sink. As ice caps form, the surrounding water becomes saltier . The cold salt water is more dense than the surrounding water and starts to sink.
Student Prior Knowledge:
Intended Learning Outcomes:
a. Know and explain science information specified for their grade level.
4. Communicate Effectively Using Science Language and Reasoning
Fill the fish tank or other clear tube up with warm water. Place 1-2 ice cubes on one side of the tank. Watch how the cold water sinks to the bottom and begins to rise on the opposite side of the tank. Discuss why this happens with the students.
In one beaker add water. In another beaker add the same volume of 95% alcohol. Place a tea light candle on top of each liquids. The tea light candle on the water will float and the tea light candle on the alcohol will sink. Discuss why this happens with the students.
Lab Part I
Have students measure mass and volume of each liquid used in the lab, water, dish soap, karo syrup and vegetable oil. Then have the students calculate the densities for each of the liquids.
Lab Part II
Based upon the densities of the liquids the students just calculated, the students make a prediction on how the liquids will layer in the test tube. The students then test their hypotheses. Note that the students should put the most dense liquid in first and the least dense liquid on top. The students then record the observed layers and answer the assessment question.
NOAA ocean service education
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