NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Home Page NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Home Page
NASA Logo - Goddard Space Flight Center NASA | GSFC | JPL | Site Map
Aquarius satellite image Aquarius title
Education: Student Outcomes

Filtered by outcome, asset type: 5-8q7, activity
Click here to begin a new search
Outcome: Explain that the ocean holds a large amount of heat and the effect this has on climate.
Grade level: 5-8
Theme: climate
Activity: documents/vtop_coastal_v_inland_temps.pdf

In this activity, students will use the weather section of the newspaper to help discover why coastal regions have relatively moderate climates. They will construct models of the ocean and the land to measure the different cooling and warming rates of each.
Grade level: 5-8
Theme: climate
Activity: documents/vtop_oc_currents_coastal_temp.pdf

The surface currents of the major ocean basins show similarities to the prevailing wind systems that drive them. Contained by continental boundaries and deflected by Earth's rotation, these surface currents flow in large, roughly circular patterns called gyres. Gyres play an important role in redistributing heat from the low to middle and high latitudes, thus influencing air temperature, weather, and climate.

After completing this investigation, students should be able to (1) demonstrate the influence of wind on ocean currents, and (2) describe the typical gyre circulation of surface currents in two major ocean basins.