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Exploring Changes in a Stream Channel

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Page 1 Exploring Changes in a Stream Channel Activity Supplied by American Scientific, LLC. Includes edits and additional content from Ward's Science. Recommended Grade Level(s): Appropriate for: Middle & High School Time Requirements: Set up: 15 minutes Activity Time: 45 minutes Data Analysis & Discussion: 20–30 minutes National Science Standards Alignment • MS-ESS2-2. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales. • HS-ESS2-5. Plan and conduct an investigation of the properties of water and its effects on Earth materials and surface processes. Materials: • Stream Table • Pail • Protractor • Sand • Stopwatch Introduction: By completing the activities in this guide, students will: • Observe and discuss a 3-dimensional, functional stream model • Make connections between the model and real-world geological processes regarding stream velocity, stream load, and stream channel changes • Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the model • Draw conclusions about real-world geologic processes Background: Streams significantly alter the Earth's surface by eroding, transporting, and depositing materials, which shapes landscapes and affects ecosystems. Stream dynamics are influenced by several factors, including water velocity, the volume of water, the types of materials it carries (stream load), and the underlying geology of the stream bed. This hands-on activity is sure to make a splash with the budding geoscientists in your class! If not, it's water under the bridge. + ward ' s science Safety Using a stream table in the classroom generally involves low risk. However, here are a few safety recommendations you should consider: • Aprons or Smocks: To keep clothes clean from water and sand. • Gloves: If students have sensitive skin or are allergic to materials like sand. • Goggles: Protective goggles could be useful if materials are flicked into the eyes during vigorous experiments. • Non-slip Shoes: If the activity is conducted on a floor that could become slippery when wet. • Clean and Dry Workspace: Keep the area around the stream table clean and dry to avoid slipping hazards. !

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