We all realize the importance of water to life--as we know it--on planet Earth. Astronomers have recently discovered other celestial bodies that may have water (H2O) in a liquid phase (stage). Earth's surface is more than 71% water and close to 29% surface land. The scientists tell us these proportions of water and land may or may not exist on other planetary bodies. Since we hope to send explorers to other celestial bodies some day, we may need to know more about how the ratio of water to land affects climatic conditions.

Preliminary Activity

Use a blank map outline of the world and complete the following orders:

Color all the continents and land masses BLUE.

Color all the oceans and other bodies of water GREEN.

Mission:

Your assignment is to find out what conditions would be like on Earth if the percentages of surface land and water were reversed. Use your completed map to get a visual idea of what this might look like.

Your mission is important as it may provide future space travelers with knowledge of what to anticipate should they travel to other celestial bodies that have water.

Assessment:

Scientist do not have a "right" answer to this question. You will be judged on the feasibility of your generated hypothesis and the factual support you gather to support it. In other words, does you hypothesis make sense and seem possible? What proof or facts do you have to back up your hypothesis?

Your model may be one of three types:

 

Lesson Ideas created/adapted by Margaret Hammer (Graduate Research Assistant) and Judith Kenworthy (Technology Mentor Fellowship Associate) Texas A&M University. All comments and questions can be directed to stewart@ocean.tamu.edu

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