Grade Range
5th-8th
Active Time
45 minutes
Total Time
4 hours
Area of Science
Ocean Sciences
Geology
Environmental Science
Key Concepts
climate change, sea level, states of matter
Credits

Overview

Glacier_JiuguangWang

"Surprise Glacier" © 2010 Jiuguang Wang

Do sea levels rise when ice melts? Does it matter whether the ice is on land or in the ocean? Students design an experiment to find out. They collect data, graph their results, and interpret their findings. Along the way, they learn about density, displacement, and climate change.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • 5-PS1-2. Measure and graph quantities to provide evidence that regardless of the type of change that occurs when heating, cooling, or mixing substances, the total weight of matter is conserved.
  • MS-PS1-5. Develop and use a model to describe how the total number of atoms does not change in a chemical reaction and thus mass is conserved.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Developing and Using Models. Develop and/or use models to describe and/or predict phenomena. (3-5; 6-8)

Asking Questions and Defining Problems. Ask questions that can be investigated and predict reasonable outcomes based on patterns such as cause and effect relationships. (3-5)

Planning and Carrying out Investigations. Plan and conduct an investigation collaboratively to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence. (3-5) Collect data to produce data to serve as the basis for evidence to answer scientific questions. (6-8)

Analyzing and Interpreting Data. Represent data in table and/or various graphical displays to reveal patterns that indicate relationships (3-5; 6-8). Analyze and interpret data to make sense of phenomena, using logical reasoning, mathematics, and/or computation (3-5).

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Use evidence to construct or support an explanation or design a solution to a problem. (3-5) Construct an explanation using models or representations. (6-8)
ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems. Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday life have had major effects on land, vegetation, streams, oceans, air and even outer space. (Grade 5)

PS1.A: Structure and Properties of Matter. The amount (weight) of matter is conserved when it changes form, even in transitions in which it seems to vanish (Grade 5). The changes of state that occur with variations in temperature or pressure can be described and predicted using these models of matter. (6-8)

ESS3.D: Global Climate Change. Human activities such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth's mean surface temperature (global warming) (6-8).
Cause and Effect. Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change. (3-5; 6-8)

Stability and Change. Change is measured in terms of differences over time and may occur at different rates; Some systems appear stable, but over long periods of time will eventually change (3-5). Explanation of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different scales (6-8).

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Grade Range
5th-8th
Active Time
45 minutes
Total Time
4 hours
Area of Science
Ocean Sciences
Geology
Environmental Science
Key Concepts
climate change, sea level, states of matter
Credits
Free science fair projects.