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The Nike Shoe Investigation - UCLA Marine Science Center

Lesson Plan 

In 1990, a container ship lost 60,000 pairs of sneakers in rough seas.  Students calculate the speed and direction of the major surface currents in the north Pacific gyre by tracking and plotting the pathway of the floating sneakers.

Concept: Ocean water movement
Ocean circulation is interconnected and is powered by wind, tides, force of Earth

National Science Education Standards
(click a standard to show activities that meet it)

K-12 Unifying Concepts and Processes
Systems, order, and organization
Evidence, models, and explanation
Constance, change, and measurement

9-12 A Science as Inquiry
Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry

9-12 B Physical Science
Motions and forces
Interactions of energy and matter

9-12 D Earth and Space Science
Energy in the earth system
Geochemical cycles

Ocean Literacy Essential Principles (PDF booklet): 1. The Earth has one big ocean with many features (concept c) 2. The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of the Earth (concept c)

Life on an Ocean Planet text reference (book link): Chapter 10 Air-Sea Interaction 10:15-19
Chapter 11 Highways in the Sea