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A Matter of Density

Grade: 7-8

Lesson Time: 45 minutes

Materials Required: “CTD Data Collected on Alvin Dive No. 3904” handout (in Activity download)


Students will learn the relationship between temperature, salinity, pressure, and density of sea water and why it is important to life in the ocean.

Massachusetts Science Education Standards:

Physical Sciences Grades 6-8: Properties of Matter

  • Differentiate between changes of properties in matter
  • Differentiate between volume and mass; define density

Life Sciences Grades 6-8: Changes in Ecosystems Over Time

  • Identify ways in which ecosystems changed in response to physical conditions

National Science Education Standards:

Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry

  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry

Content Standard B: Physical Science

  • Properties and changes of properties in matter

Content Standard C: Life Science

  • Populations and ecosystems

Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

  • Populations, resources, and environments

Activity download: A_Matter_of_Density

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