Does the planet have water on its surface? That is the question scientists ask when looking at the likelihood of life on the planet. Water is in every cell of all organisms. Water drive weather and climate. In this 3-week session, students will do hands-on investigation in class and outside of class as they learn about the properties of water. We will study how water cycles through the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. In week 3, students will learn about the relationship between water, weather, and climate.
Week 1: The Properties of Water: Looking at water, you might think that it's a simple molecule. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. And yet, it is vital for all life on Earth. This week, we will investigate the shape of the water molecules, how that shape is responsible for the properties of water, and why these properties are important for life.
Week 2: The Water Cycle: Earth's water is always in motion, cycling through the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. This week we will investigate the water cycle as we also look at water’s changing states between liquid, vapor, and ice.
Week 3: Weather on a Watery Planet: What is the weather like at your house today? Is it dry or wet, rainy or snowy? Weather and climate are controlled by the heat that is passed between the atmosphere, the air, and the ocean. Because the ocean absorbs most of the solar radiation that reaches Earth, the interaction between the ocean and atmosphere controls the weather and climate. Changes in the ocean or atmosphere can result in changes to the climate. This week we will be conducting in class work to learn about the relationship between water, weather, and climate.