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Adrift: Navigation and Ocean Currents
This activity will help students to understand how ocean scientists and the Coast Guard determine how the currents on the surface of the ocean are moving. Students will learn how to read vector images of real-time Coastal Ocean Dynamic Application Radar (CODAR) data, and use this knowledge to locate a lost ship off the New Jersey coast. They will apply their knowledge of vectors, surface currents and the interaction of forces on ocean water to predict the expected location of the ship by calculating the time it will take for the ship to reach a specified end point from a known starting point in the ocean.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
    • Lesson plan
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Physical oceanography
  • Technology
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright Rutgers University 2003
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-006-181
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about sci. / tech.
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Science as a human endeavor
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by 'Rutger's COOL Classroom'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Coastal Ocean Observatory Laboratory