Nature Near You highlights the properties of water
The seventh week of Nature Near You, the Sanibel Sea School’s e-newsletter, featured a topic that is vital to all of us – water.
Through emails delivered at 9 a.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, Nature Near You participants learned how water cycles around the planet and tracked water flow through the environment. Staffers shared several experiments to take a deeper look at water’s unique properties.
On May 4, participants learned about how water is “sticky” through the properties of cohesion and adhesion. Cohesion is the process of water molecules being attracted, or sticking, to other water molecules. Adhesion occurs when water is attracted, or sticks to a substance that is not water. Marine Science Educator Sam Nowinski shared three unique experiments, using a few jars, pennies, and water to better observe these two forces in action and to solidify key concepts like surface tension in water.
On May 6, participants dove into the water cycle and learned about the different states of water (solid, liquid, gas) and learned how water molecules move throughout Earth and the atmosphere. Staffers took them through each stage of the water cycle – evaporation, condensation, and precipitation. Then, they created a water cycle in a jar – an easy activity to observe evaporation and condensation right at home. The activity was paired with a nature journaling assignment where participants took a moment to investigate and observe signs of the water cycle in their backyards.
On May 8, participants focused on watersheds, also known as drainage basins, that are areas of land that collect water into creeks, streams, and rivers. These various water sources connect into larger bodies of water, known as outflow points, such as lakes, bays, and oceans. They learned how to model a watershed using just a piece of paper, a marker, and a spray bottle full of water – simple, but a super visual for children. The activity allowed participants to observe how water flows over land when it rains and shows where it collects – mimicking a map of a natural watershed.
Water is such an integral component of our daily lives, so it is important to understand how it plays a role in our environments. As ocean educators, we especially see the role that the ocean plays in our community, our ecosystem, and in our individual lives.
Nature Near You will continue through June and be delivered via email.
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Part of the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation family, the Sanibel Sea School’s mission is to improve the ocean’s future, one person at a time.