What are tides, and why
do they happen?
How many high and low tides happen
Are all tides the same height?
page links to an interdisciplinary learning
created by geologists, chemists, physicists, and mathematicians.
The module will help students and teachers learn more about tides by using
different tools and methods of these disciplines.
from the Nova Scotia Museum. See
were to track ocean water level over a period of a few days, you would
see that it changes with a regular pattern. As a scientist, you can
do more than just observe these tidal patterns. You
can try to figure out why they happen!
In order to investigate tides,
you'll need scientific data. Click
here for a step-by-step guide to collecting and analyzing your own ocean
water level data.
activity is appropriate for classes from advanced middle school to university
level. It takes some computer savvy--the main technical requirements
are the ability to cut and paste data from a web page to MSWord and Excel,
and to create graphs using Excel or similar software. It also takes
a little patience to find a data station that will work for you.
But be assured that they do exist, and with a few minutes of persistence,
you will find one.
Would you like to use a data set that has
already been downloaded for you, with a graph already made for a few days
(or a year)? Click on one of these:
City, CA Kawaihae,
Hawaii Island, HI Rockport,
Be prepared to be amazed by the graphs
that you will produce--you're going to get graphs that show much, much
more than the "two highs & two lows per day" that you might initially
expect, although you definitely will see that too! Many factors influence
tidal levels. This activity doesn't explain why tides happen.
But it will draw you and your students to try to explain the data trends
that you discover. Maybe you will be able to figure out something
new--and really interesting!
you looking for materials and activities to support your courses in
Physics, or Mathematics?
out Links for Educators*(*and
other people with insatiable curiosity).
Text of this page © 2003
The NASA/UNCF Project, Northeastern Illinois University
Last updated May 1, 2003.