Actvity Summary: In this activity, students will use actual data from historic oceanographic cruises to examine sea floor spreading. They will also model sea floor spreading at a spreading center such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.



  • Standard A: Unifying concepts and processes in science
  • Standard B: Science as inquiry
  • Standard C: Physical science
  • Standard E: Earth and space science
  • Standard F: Science and technology

  • Patterns
  • Cause and effect
  • Scale, proportion, quantity
  • Energy and matter
  • Stability and change

  • Asking questions and defining problems
  • Developing and using models
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Using mathematics and computational thinking
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

  • ESS1. C The history of the planet Earth
  • ESS2.A Earth materials and systems
  • ESS2.B Plate tectonics and large-scale system interactions
  • ESS2.C The roles of water in Earth’s surface processes
  • PS1.A Structure of matter
  • PS2.A Forces and motion
  • PS2.B Types of interactions
  • PS3.B Conservation of energy and energy transfer
  • PS3.C Relationship between energy and forces