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Classroom Combo: Analyzing Sea-Level Changes

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Classroom Combo sea level changes



Grade Levels

Grades 5-8, Grades 9-12


Mathematics, Algebra, Measurement and Data Analysis, Problem Solving


Lesson Plans / Activities, STEM Resource Collections, Videos

Next Generation Science Standards: 4-PS3-2, 5-ESS2-1, MS-ESS2-6, MS-ESS3-3, MS-ESS3-5, MS-PS1-4, MS-PS3-3, HS-ESS2-4, HS-ESS3-5
Common Core State Standards for Mathematics: 5.G.A.2, 5.MD.B.2, 7.RP.A.2.B , 8.SP.A.1, 8.SP.A.2, 8.SP.A.3, HSF.IF.B.6, HSS.IC.B.6, HSS.ID.B.6.A, HSS.ID.B.6.C, HSS.ID.C.7, HSS.ID.C.8

Classroom Connection

Climate change affects more than air temperatures. Students analyze NASA data and perform an experiment to learn that sea-level rise is also a result of changes in Earth’s weather patterns.

The Science Behind the Combo

NASA excels at remote sensing. Whether it’s a satellite analyzing the atmosphere of a faraway celestial body or a local satellite in low-Earth orbit measuring and mapping Earth’s ever-changing sea surface, NASA makes it happen.

Combo Resources: 

NASA’s Earth Minute: Sea-Level Rise

Background Information: Rising Waters: How NASA Is Monitoring Sea-Level Rise
Interactive Website: Sea-Level Change: Observations From Space
Math Problem Set: Lessons in Sea-Level Rise
Classroom Activity: Graphing Sea-Level Trends
Demonstration: Thermal Expansion Model
Student/At-home Activity: How Warming Water Causes Sea-Level Rise

Teacher Tips:

  • Mix and match the combo resources to suit your goals, allotted time and available materials.
  • Introduce these lessons with the video that explains sea-level rise.
  • Note that the interactive feature in the Discussion section of “Lessons in Sea-Level Rise” is no longer available.
  • Use the Extension sections of “Lessons in Sea-Level Rise,” “Graphing Sea-Level Trends” and “Thermal Expansion Model” for links to more resources.
  • Allow virtual students to use the “How Warming Water Causes Sea-Level Rise” as an experiment to perform at home.
  • Review the ” Important Safety Note!” included in the at-home activity with students. Students should NOT attempt this activity without adult supervision.