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In this activity students investigate tidal phenomena by exploring water level observational (or predicted tidal) data from several locations around the world that provide examples of semi-diurnal, diurnal, and mixed tides. Students are asked to identify patterns of variability and differences among the sites on time scales of just a few days and over a period of a couple months. The activity is designed more to get students thinking about tides, asking questions about the causes of tidal variations, and thinking about ways to answer these questions, as opposed to providing an explanation of tidal processes. The activity leads to a body of observations that generate numerous questions about tides. The goal is to capture student's interest before spending subsequent class time developing a conceptual/theoretical model of how tides work.
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