I am excited to get started on a very important topic: WATER! We all need water, in fact, all life on Earth, and the Earth itself needs water. This week our ship will set sail for the Delta where MSI instructors will be talking all about water for next couple months, and so shall we!
Let’s start at the very beginning: what is water? Water is a very special molecule with remarkable properties. These properties, even the simple fact that frozen water (ice) floats, make water very unique and very important for life on Earth.
You may be familiar with something called the “water cycle” or “hydrolytic cycle”. The most simplified version of this cycle is Evaporation—Condensation—Precipitation. There are even fun songs and dances about these processes. Can you and your class or family come up with a song or rap that describes the different parts of the water cycle?
Water doesn’t only travel through the sky and along the ground—it also travels through living things on Earth. Plants and animals are part of the water cycle too! Once a plant or animal (such as us) eliminates the water that they consume, it returns to the water cycle—that means that we might drink water that was once in a dinosaur! There is the same amount of water available for human use as there has been since the beginning of mankind—and that isn’t much! Most of the water on Earth is in the ocean, and the remaining water is frozen, underground, in the atmosphere and just a little is left for human use.
Follow the Drop: with your family or class, you can create a unique story as you discover the complicated life of a drop of water.
- Create different stations that describe where you might find water. Make a few stations for beginners, or make many stations to show how complex the water cycle can be. Examples of stations: Ocean, Lake, Clouds, Animals, Glaciers, Icebergs, Rivers, Groundwater, Plants.
- Next, think of where water might go from each of those stations. For example, from the ocean water might evaporate into clouds or freeze into icebergs; or the water from a plant may evaporate into clouds or go into an animal that eats it. Create “tickets” for each pathway and make several copies for each station.
- Follow the drop! You can start at any station. Randomly choose your ticket and follow it to the next station. For example, if I am at the River Station, I may draw a ticket that sends me to the Ocean.
- Write down or keep track of the order of the stations as you move through the water cycle. You may keep track with color coordinated beads (and up with a colorful bracelet!)
- After moving through several stations you can create a story based on your water drop’s unique journey through the water cycle. Here is an example of one drop’s journey.