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Rising Sea Levels

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Climate Change

As indicated in Day 14's plan, the first half continues the exploration of the influence of light and thermal effects on climate change with activities exploring causes of rising sea levels. These included a comparison representing ice melting on land and ice melting in the oceans as well as an example of thermal expansion of liquids when warmed.
(The second half of Day 14 continues development of an explanation for the phases of the moon).

Day 14 Rising Sea Levels Plan

For homework, due the following Tuesday before class, the students summarized these explorations:

Rising Sea Levels Homework Assignment

Powerful Idea: Melting ice on land contributes to rising sea levels. Rising Sea Levels Due to Melting Ice on Land Demonstration For this Powerful Idea we set up and used a small model in class. We had two trays one had several flat rocks in it and the other did not. We then added as many ice cubes on top of the rocks as possible and the same number to the tray without any rocks. Then we added water to the brim of the trays without letting them overflow. As the ice melted in the trays, the ice from the tray with rocks overflowed. This was because the ice melted and slid off the rocks. The ice displaced the water and the water overflowed. This is representative of rising sea levels caused by huge chunks of ice coming off landmasses and falling into the ocean. The ice that is melting in the water is already in the water. It is the additive ice that creates the rising sea levels. Think, if you have a cup of ice water the level of the water does not rise as the ice melts, you still have the same amount of liquid in the cup, only the state of the ice (solid to liquid). \\(Excerpt from student homework)
Powerful Idea: Thermal expansion of oceans contributes to rising sea levels. Thermal Expansion  Demonstration The thermometer demonstration showed that when we grasped the end of the thermometer, the red liquid in the thermometer rose, demonstrating that the liquid expands when it gets warm. It also showed that when you put the thermometer in a glass of cold water, the liquid got lower, demonstrating that liquid contracts when it cools. At the URL, an article talks about how Global Mean Sea Level (GMSL) is continuing to rise. It also mentions that thermal expansion is one of the three biggest causes of the rising sea level. The article says, “When water heats up, it expands. About half of the past century's rise in sea level is attributable to warmer oceans simply occupying more space.” (Excerpt from student homework)

Example Student Response to Homework Assignment about Rising Sea Levels:

Example Student Response to Homework Assignment about Day 14 Sea Level Rising Activity

During Day 16, we explored motion graphs with motion detectors, made an analogy to graphs of melting ice, and watch online videos of ice melting in Greenland:

Day 16 Plan for Making Analogy Between Motion Graphs and Melting Ice Graphs

Handout for Making Analogy Between Motion Graphs and Melting Ice Graphs

URLs for Videos of Melting Ice in Greenland

Directions for Lab Report 16 on Making Analogy Between Motion Graphs and Melting Ice Graphs

Example Student Laboratory Report 16 for Analogy Between Motion Graphs and Melting Ice Graphs

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