Ocean Currents Science Games5 games
In this series of games, your students will learn why ocean currents exist, what keeps them in motion, and how scientists study them. The Ocean Currents learning objective – based on NGSS and state standards – delivers improved student engagement and academic performance in your classroom, as demonstrated by research.
Scroll down for a preview of this learning objective’s games and the concepts they drive home.
Currents are like flowing rivers of water within the ocean. They act like circuits, moving water across the surface of the ocean, then down toward the bottom, circling back around and rising to the surface again. The Earth’s currents are interconnected, carrying water all across the planet, from the equator to the poles.
Surface currents are propelled by the wind, and deep ocean currents are driven by different levels of density in the water. The cooler and saltier the water, the denser it is. Denser water sinks and less dense water moves to the top, driving the “circuit” of a current.
Sunlight heats water, so the different amounts of sunlight in different parts of the world change the water temperature. Scientists use instruments on ships and buoys keep track of how dense water is and how salty it is (called “salinity”). This helps them map global current systems, allowing us to understand how water moves and how it affects the environment.
A preview of each game in the learning objective is found below.
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