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September 16, 2020

Water Shapes Our Planet and Our Lives

SECOORA is proud to announce the winner of our curriculum request for proposals; Katy Smith from the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. The project, Water Shapes Our Planet and Our Lives, will construct a comprehensive fourth grade, virtual-learning science unit on the water cycle, weather, climate and natural processes that shape the Earth’s coasts and communities.

The science unit will provide a combination of innovative instructional technologies to enhance learning and engagement. Students will explore local weather, discover tools used by scientists to collect weather data, and evaluate long-term trends recorded by climate scientists. Lessons will be interdisciplinary and provide a foundation for teachers and students to engage in climate change conversations.

“Our team is excited for the opportunity to create virtual science lessons to help teachers and parents meet the educational needs of their children, while also preparing students to grasp one of today’s pressing environmental challenges—climate change. Our unit will connect fourth grade water, weather and climate science standards to ocean and climate literacy principles to spark discussions with youth about climate change and its consequences and solutions.” Katy Smith – University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant.

All materials will be available online as a teaching resource for both educators and families. Lessons will showcase hands-on activities using accessible materials and incorporate evaluation tools to help assess learning outcomes. Below is a summary of the lessons:

  • Lesson 1: What Happens in the Water Cycle?
    • Activity: Build a water cycle model
  • Lesson 2: What is the Difference between Weather and Climate?
    • Activities: Cloud in a jar (condensation); Rain cloud in a jar (precipitation)
  • Lesson 3: What Tools are used to Measure the Weather?
    • Activity: Build an anemometer
  • Lesson 4: Watersheds and Wetlands – Humans depend on wetlands for clean water, biodiversity, and healthy ecosystems
    • Activity: Crumpled paper watershed
  • Lesson 5: Water Resources and Aquifers – Where does our drinking water come from?
    • Activity: Build an aquifer model
  • Lesson 6: Ocean Currents – Ocean currents drive weather and climate, and transfer energy, heat and food around the globe
    • Activity: Underwater Fountain (a demonstration of upwelling)
  • Final activity: Kids learn to communicate about climate change

If you have any questions, please email