Elementary resources: Physical science

Young students gather excitedly around a chemistry experiment.
Students of a NOAA Planet Stewards Educator participating in a hands-on activity to understand the impacts of ocean acidification. In this experiment, dry ice (frozen carbon dioxide) is added to water with soap. When the dry ice touches the soapy water, it quickly undergoes sublimation, or turns from a solid to a gas without first becoming water. The carbon dioxide gas is captured in soap bubbles, seen in this picture. (D.J. Cast)

An ocean of energy

4th - 6th grade • Teacher guide • Links to standards
Students learn about energy pyramids as a way to understand the energetic relationships among producers, consumers, and decomposers in an ocean ecosystem.


Ducks in the flow offsite link

3rd - 5th grade • Teacher guide • Links to standards
Students use scientific inquiry and data gathering skills to learn about force, motion, and ocean currents using the true story of toys that fell off a ship during a storm and drifted to various places.


Exploring changes in ocean chemistry offsite link

4th - 5th grade • Uses data • Links to standards
Students test different water samples, analyze their results, and share their ideas about how to improve the experimental design.


Marine osteoporosis offsite link

3rd - 8th grade • Teacher guide • Links to standards
Students will explore and test how ocean acidification affects different organisms, including humans. Students investigate causes of increased ocean acidity and discuss ways to minimize the impact.


Marine snow

4th - 6th grade • Teacher guide • Links to standards
Students learn how “marine snow,” a shower of organic material falling into the deep ocean, forms, how it is distributed, and the role it plays in the marine ecosystem.


Sanctuary splash: Acoustics of cetaceans offsite link

4th - 6th grade • Teacher guide • Links to standards
Students will listen to whale vocalizations and participate in simulations of sound perception and efficiency of sound transfer through matter. Students will also gain a basic understanding of how sounds are measured and recorded when studied in a marine environment, and how various cetacean species communicate and are identified by the vocalizations they make.