Water Cycle

Today, your students got to be water traveling through the earth’s water cycle! Using a simple game, students modeled how the water cycle works – we discovered that the real water cycle is more complicated that how its usually shown! Water can go through mini-cycles back and forth, traveling, for instance, from the atmosphere to the ocean and back to the atmosphere. Water can also become trapped for many years in the ocean, groundwater, or glaciers. This was a good model for the water cycle, but it doesn’t show everything. For instance, it does not show how much water is in every location.

Using another model (ask your students how it worked!), we demonstrated how almost all (more than 97%) of the earth’s water is stored in the oceans; the water we use for drinking and watering crops mostly comes from the tiny fraction that is stored as fresh water in rivers, lakes and aquifers (underground lakes)!

El ciclo del agua

El día de hoy, los estudiantes se convirtieron en “el agua” del “ciclo del agua” de la Tierra. Utilizando un simple juego, los estudiantes modelaron cómo funciona el ciclo del agua; y descubrimos que este ciclo es más complejo de cómo generalmente se enseña. El agua puede viajar de ida y de vuelta, en “mini ciclos, como, por ejemplo, cuando viaja de la atmósfera al océano y luego de vuelta a la atmósfera. El agua también puede quedarse “atrapada” por muchos años en el océano, en las aguas subterráneas o en los glaciares. El modelo del ciclo del agua que utilizamos es bueno, pero tiene algunas falencias, como que no nos muestra la cantidad de agua que hay en cada lugar.

Utilizando otro modelo (pregúntele a su hija o hijo como funciona), demostramos que la mayoría del agua del planeta (más del 96%) está almacenada en los océanos. El agua que tomamos o que usamos para regar los cultivos proviene, en su mayoría, de los lagos y ríos de agua dulce, la cual es una pequeña fracción del agua del planeta.

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Author

Lauren Koppel

Lauren earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major of Biology and Psychology from Clark University, and a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. During her undergraduate years, she worked in a evolutionary neurobiology lab that studied the neural development of annelids (marine worms), with a focus on the sox family of genes. Lauren loves learning about how the world works (including everything from biology to chemistry to engineering), and is passionate about sharing that knowledge and enthusiasm with others. In the past, she has interned at the Museum of Science, where she educated learners of all ages through hands-on activities, games, and experiments. Other science education organizations with which Lauren has worked include The People’s Science, EurekaFest, and Eureka! of Girls Inc. of Worcester. Currently she lives in Boston, where devotes her free time to playing Quidditch, reading sci-fi novels, playing her ukulele, and enjoying all the culinary delights the city has to offer.

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